How do you stick to your running schedule in this sticky weather?

Some days my legs feel like lead making it a huge effort just to move forward. It is proven that high temperatures drain energy, which means running 3 miles can feel like 6. Here are a few tips on the best way to beat the heat and still run (without feeling like you are dying).

  • Hydrate

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I recently read somewhere that it is now recommended you drink a gallon of water a day. It is said to improve energy, alertness, skin tone, as well as flush kidneys and  create a feel of fullness, so you snack less. Also, drinking cold water before a run, lowers your core temperature a little and every little bit helps!

There are a zillion different water bottles you can choose from, find a favorite and drink up! There also are apps for your phone that track your water intake. If you have trouble keeping track, then that is an option for you.

In the beginning you may find yourself in the bathroom a lot, but as your kidneys adjust, that will taper off a little.

  • Dress light

Workout clothes have come a long way. They should be made of a wicking material (wicks the moisture away from you, and dries quickly), seamless (to avoid chaffing) and loose fitting. Some people like a form fit but loose fit allows air to circulate better, keeping you cooler. Target has a lot of workout clothes to choose from and for a reasonable price. They carry Champion brand which usually gets good reviews in Runner’s World magazine. You don’t have to spend a fortune to be comfortable and look good.

  • Wear a hat

Hats keep the sun off you face and head. White hats actually reflect the sun, which keeps you even cooler. Visors keep the sun off your face but the sun still is on your head.

I will be trying a neck gator for the first time tonight. It is a cloth that you wet and wear around your neck to keep cool. I will post later about our Smoothie Tuesday trail run and let you know how the neck gator worked out.

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  • Run early (early morning or early evening)

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Get out before the sun is blaring and your run will be way better. Wait until after your coffee and you’ve checked Facebook and emails, and your run is going to s**k!

Take it from me, I know :-).  Or wait until the sun is going down for an early evening run.

Don’t forget, if you run with your dog, check the pavement before taking her with you. And if you are hot, chances are she is hotter.

  • Find a shady route

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I don’t know where this street is, but I want to run there! 😉

Know where your shade is. Sometimes, where the shade is, determines which route I take. It may not be all shade, all the time, but it’s the shadiest choice I have.

  • Stay positive

Think positive thoughts. Studies have shown that people run or exercise longer when saying positive things to themselves. For instance, “You can do this” or “Keep going”.

Negative thoughts only drag you down. When you find yourself thinking about how hard a hill is for example, consciously change your thoughts to “I got this!”.  Try it, it really works.

  • Relax

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Running is a lot easier if you relax. Relax your face, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. When you are grimacing because you are hot or tired, remember to try to relax. I have a mental checklist I go through. I think about relaxing my face and work my way down. I make sure my form is in check. Head up, looking forward, not down. Am I running light? I think that when you relax, you naturally lighten your footfall.

 

I hope these tips help you stay cool and keep training during these crazy hot days.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Keep cool and keep running!

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