We are in the dead heat of Texas and all the Norwegian blood in me is dying. As much as I love being able to sit out in the sun, summers down here absolutely kill me. To me, perfect summer weather is low 80s with a slight breeze and partly cloudy.
But, when you take into consideration a perfect day for summer running? Drop that temperature about 20 degrees and increase the cloud cover, and it’ll still be a little too toasty.
So today, I’m linking up with Running Coaches’ Corner again (details below if you want to link up too!) and I’m talking about what you need to survive summer running.
1. An early alarm
Usually when I wake up here in Austin, it’s already in the mid-70s with some crazy humidity… I can’t imagine getting up any time after 6 a.m. for a run here (because then you have to battle with the sun!) When it comes to battling (and surviving) a run in the summer heat, earlier is definitely better if your schedule can manage it.
2. Water for your run
Oh, this took me SO long to realize. It’s such a simple concept, right? But, being the stubborn person I am, I kept telling myself I only needed water for long runs and when you are trying to survive summer running (especially in places like Texas and Florida), there’s no way you can even survive a short distance without having water!
P.S. I recommend something like the Nathan SpeedShot Plus Insulated because it fits on your hand and feels like nothing is there, and you cannot always depend on your favorite bubbler (or water fountain for you non-Wisconsinites) being alive.
3. Sun protection
Sunscreen is SO important for runners! We spend a lot of time out in the sun, even if it is early in the morning, and can still get damage to our skin no matter if it’s in the afternoon or if it’s cloudy outside. I am a fan of BullFrog, which has a great Land Sport line that means you don’t end up with it in your eyes (THE WORST).
My blue eyes are ultra sensitive to the sun and I have dealt with sunburn on my eyes before and it hurts so bad. Living in Texas, the sun is so bright here that I cannot go outside without sun protection — even if I am running before the sun is at it’s peak.
And, even if it is cloudy —> you can still cause damage to your eyes. You can read all of the details HERE about why you need to rock some sunglasses on your next run.
5. Something to keep the sweat out of your eyes
The one thing worse than sunscreen in your eyes? Sweat in your eyes. It hurts so bad and I don’t know if it’s true, but it almost feels worse when you are wearing contacts. I love wearing trucker hats to stop this from happening and these headbands do the trick too. Bonus: They both keep hair out of your face too!
6. Cool running clothes
And I’m not talking about those that look good. 😛 Although you can wear clothes that look good AND are functional. But wearing running clothes that are designed to help you survive summer running can make a huge difference in your run. Currently in love with the Brooks Ghost Racerback above, which is a pic from Grandma’s Marathon where I wore it in the heat and it made a HUGE difference.
7. A focus on perceived effort
When it comes to summer running, it’s nearly impossible to hit your target pace because there’s a natural degradation of your pace because your body has to work that much harder. In fact, Susie shared this chart last week:
And it’s so true! That being said, focus on running based on perceived effort vs. a specific time when the weather gets hot. The Borg Relative Perceived Exertion Scale (say that five times fast) gives a good idea of this:
Think about your workouts in terms of how hard you want to run (e.g., instead of easy run days 2-3 minutes slower than your target race pace, think of it as a 1 or 2 on the scale).
8. Recovery foods to cool you down
My favorite thing to do right when I get in from a run is grab something cold to help me cool down. Grapes are my latest favorite (seriously, can’t stop) but I also like having an electrolyte drink ready for me in the fridge (loving THIS STUFF lately).
Anything else that helps you survive summer running? What do you consider “too hot”? What’s your ideal running weather?
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