Summer Running Survival Guide

Life / Monday, August 20th, 2018

Training for a marathon throughout the summer has been…interesting.

I was used to wearing 15 layers and braving snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures in order to prep for all the spring races I’ve done over the years. But this whole “running in 80+ degree weather” thing? Totally new to me.

Here’s how I’ve been making it work!

Hydrate ALL THE TIME. Not just on the run. Not just before the run. And not just with water. I have gone through more eletrolyte fluid and Nuun tablets this summer than I ever thought possible. I start and end every day with electrolytes, and refill my water bottle 5+ times each day. On long runs in New Hampshire, where I do a lot of my training, I carry a Camelback backpack, something I’ve never had to do before. And when I’m running in Boston, I literally plot my route according to where there are water fountains.

Shorts: Look, I love capris. I really do. I love the look, the coverage, and the lack of chafing. But shorts are king this time of year. My favorites are lululemon spandex shorts (which have been discontinued and that infuriates me; I got a pair second-hand on Poshmark, still with tags for less than 1/2 retail price though) and honestly Walmart-brand running shorts, which are the perfect weight and length and cost like, $8.

Sunblock: protecting your skin is so, so important. I wear sunblock on my face 100% of the time, but for running I invested in this really sweat-resistant Neutrogena brand sunblock and it has not disappointed me.

Go Early: This has been the saddest part of summer running for me, because summertime is often the only time I am able to sleep past 5:30, since teaching is kind of an early-morning career choice. I’ve been running as soon as the sun comes up, often starting at 5:45-6am all summer. It’s hard to wake up that early, sure, but with temps at that time significantly lower than later int he day, it’s worth it. The differene between running in 72 degrees vs. 87 degrees is huge. HUGE. So wake up and get out the door! and if you can’t go early….

Treadmill as Needed: Look, there were days this summer when there were fog warnings or lightening in the early mornings, and sometimes with later nights I had to choose whether to be sleep deprived or to run on a tread. Sleep is the #1 performance enhancer in the world, so I chose sleep and hit up my local YMCA every once in a while to get my milage in. Treadmills are super boring, but it’s better to run in an air conditioned gym than in 90-degree mid-summer heat.

(This is a re-write of a post that was destroyed in the great disc-space crash of ReadWriteRun in December 2018. It was re-written using the photo folders and notes from the original post. Enjoy! )

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