I have never been a big fan of running in the heat and humidity of the summer. I over heat really easily. One year on a mission trip I over heated so badly that I spent the evening in the bathroom unable to even keep a salad down. There’s a similar story from soccer conditioning in high school. I feel silly carrying water with me on 3 mile runs, but at this point in the year I get nervous of what might happen if I don’t. Funny we were talking about just this very topic on dailymile yesterday (sign up! it’s free and awesome!). Here are a few of my tricks for the summer heat & humidity:
- I always carry my own water on all of my runs in the summer, even for Team in Training runs that have waterstops. As a former girl scout I’m always prepared. Plus, you never know what might happen during a race. Best to bring what you need. Plus, there are these fabulous sugar free electrolyte drink tablets called Nuun (since I’m cavity prone I don’t do Gatorade also known as a sugar bath for your teeth. Plus I went to Florida State. We’re not big fans of gators…). Just drop one in your water and it creates a fabulous electrolyte beverage to carry along!
- Salt – I’m a heavy, salty sweater (that might be a little more than you wanted to know). I learned after my first marathon that salt was going to become a very good friend. During the summer it’s a salt packet 30 minutes before a run, 1/2 way through, and coaches have suggested after the run. It’s not unusual for me to take additional salt packets during the run. It just depends on the day.
- Dri-fit – “cotton is rotten” is a favorite phrase of out TNT coaches. Dri-fit is your friend. Love it!!!
- visor or sweat bands – got to keep the sweat out of the eyes. Plus if you’re dumping water over your head the visor keeps it out of your eye with a better chance of getting more of the water where you want it. This often makes me look like I’ve jumped in a lake (my mom has asked upon my return home if I just took a shower. No mom I just went running…)
- Ice bath – seriously, there is nothing better after a long run in the summer heat (I know I’m weird. I like ice baths). Not only do you cool off, but it helps your legs recover from all of the hard pounding.
One positive, my pores are nice and clean :-). Sadly the summer often means I have to run slower, but then running slower helps your endurance. Maybe it’s mother nature’s way of helping me finish my marathons in good shape. Dear God, please let it be cool and not humid for Chicago!