Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7 Ways to Run in the Heat

Living in Phoenix, Arizona where the summer low is 92 degrees at 5am and the humidity crawls up makes running quite challenging.  I've learned how to run in the heat but it doesn't make it much easier. Here are some of the way's I've learned to run in the heat of the summer.

  1. Realize and accept your pace is going to suffer.  It's going to be slower and you won't get any PR's. When the weather cools off though you can focus again on speed.
  2. It's ok to slog through the miles. You're keeping up your fitness and not becoming a couch potato.
  3. Head to the track and do a short quality workout.  You can run a slow warm-up mile (yes, if it's 100 degrees why do you need to warm up?) and 6-8x400's and have an excellent quality workout.  No track?  Run fartleks instead.  Run 2 minutes hard and a 1 minute slower.  Not only is this a great quality but the run goes much faster because your focus is on getting through the two minutes and not on how miserable you are.
  4. Run early in the morning or late in the evening.  This may sound like a no brainer but you'd be amazed at the idiots that are out running at noon.  It may still be hot outside but not having the full sun makes a big difference.
  5. If you run an out/back course, plan your back where the sun is at your back.  For me in the summer, I start my run at 5:30am and run east when the sun has just started coming up and when I turn around, the sun is higher but it's at my back.
  6. Carry plenty of water and know where you can refill. I will make a run longer just to get to a watering hole (gas station, water fountain) so I have plenty of water for the entire run.
  7. Choose your races wisely. The weather may be beautiful for a race but what is it like for training?  In Arizona, the Utah St. George marathon is very popular because of the fast, downhill course.  The problem is it's an October marathon which requires running long miles in the middle of summer. 
What strategies do you use to run in the heat?

Happy Running!

1 comment:

Johann said...

Great pointers indeed. Many people don't realize how dangerous the heat can be. One thing I believe in is to train in the heat if you are going to race in the heat. Also be sure to be in great shape for summer races.