Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Ahhh summer.  The long days filled with popsicles, sprinklers and bbqs are finally upon us.  Many of us, I'm sure, have started training for fall marathons.  Giddy up.  Even if you don't race and have no plans to train for anything specific, if you're a runner, you're still going to get out there.  And let's face it.  Summer running is a beast.  Yesterday, up here in the Boston area, we had our first day of high heat and heavy humidity.  And so it begins.  As I was running, I was willing myself not to complain.  Training for the Boston marathon this past winter just about did me in.  Once I got through it, I swore I would embrace the heat and praise the sun forever.  So what if my feet felt like cinderblocks yesterday and it seemed like I was swimming through the air.  I was determined to keep my mouth shut.  So, instead, I drummed up several ways for a summer runner to beat the heat.  Here's what I came up with:


1. Run inside.  I'm not a huge fan of the dreadmill, but running 20 miles in the heat and humidity doesn't appeal either.  So, why not head to the gym.  Run a loop outside and then go inside and do another 6-8 miles in the A/C.  Or, do your speed work inside instead of on the track, which tends to feel like a frying pan in the summer.  Hey, it's a change of scenery, so that's nice, right?
2. Run near water.  Here in Winchester, we have a road called Mystic Valley Parkway that weaves along a couple lakes for several miles.  I would not swim in these lakes, mind you.  But, I have been know to dunk my head under mid-run if necessary.  Also, if there is a breeze of any kind, it's gonna be near water.
3. Switch your coffee.  Don't start your morning off with a hot drink.  You'll spike your body temp and hit the road in overdrive.  Make coffee the night before and throw it in the fridge.  That way, you can get your caffeine fix in without sweating while you're forcing it down.
4. Freeze your accessories.  No, seriously.  Throw your hat, visor, headband, sweatbands in the freezer and pull them out right before your run.  This will keep your head and pressure points cool from the start, which will keep your overall body temp down, for a few miles at least.
5. Clover.  My running partner and I have coined the term "clovering" meaning, running 3 or 4 loops from one of our houses so we can grab fuel and water every 6 miles or so.  When it's hot and you know you have water every 6 miles, it can make a huge difference mentally.
6. Break it up.  Do half of your run in the am.  And half in the pm.  Then brag to your friends that you did double sessions because you wanted to, not because you had to.
7. Wear sunglasses.  I used to think it was dorky to wear sunnies designed specifically for running.  That was dumb.  They shield the sun, weigh nothing, and keep you from squinting for 2 hours, which can be very uncomfortable.  Done and done.
8. Wear as little clothing as possible. (within reason)  I used to be modest/ embarrassed about running in a sports bra and short shorts around my small town.  Again, that was dumb.  It's hot.  I'm out running.  Who the hell cares what I'm wearing?  I certainly shouldn't.
9. Start early or wait and start late.  In other words, don't leave your house at noon.  It's gonna hurt.
10. Get yourself some new music.  Bottom line, music is a pleasant distraction and can be a major source of motivation.

I would have put "don't go at all" on the list, as I'm sure there are days when it's so freakin' hot it just doesn't seem feasible.  But, if you're a runner of any kind, you're going to figure out a way to get it done.  So, go run.  And stay cool.

Listen to this:
Where We're Going - DAE  

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