How To: Run in the Sun

The first official day of Summer has come and gone. Now we get to fantasize about watermelon, long hot summer days, swimming and the 4th of July!  Yesterday the temperature got up to 98 degrees in CoMo, (I know it sounds like a boy band) with a heat index of 107. For everyone from the PNW who has never heard of a heat index… that means it feels like 107 outside. It is HOT… I LOVE IT! The downsides: You cannot sleep very well… Dexter is made of a dark brown fur blanket and cannot hack any activity that requires too much energy… and mostly, how in the heck do you maintain your workout regiment? Here are the four (sorry one extra today) most important things I keep in mind on my runs and exercise routine throughout the summer:IMG_1680

Tone It Down: Expect to run a little slower, cut down on the amount of time you work out and for the most part not hit it as hard as you usually do. I read in an article once that runners can expect to add an entire MINUTE onto their mile in the hot weather. This can feel frustrating and almost like you are not getting the full effect of a fast run, but training in this HOT weather makes you unstoppable when it cools off. Don’t be afraid to cut back on the distance too, it is really tough for your body to keep you at a healthy safe temperature when you are working it this hard in the heat… almost like a car.

Drink your water: You have to pre-drink water in this weather. Here is the plan I follow for IMG_1662summer:

* Before exercise: 16 Oz
* Throughout my workout: 20 Oz
* After Workout: 24 Oz.

It makes it so much more simple to get in my required ounces of water a day.

Wear Appropriate clothing: The hotter it gets, the looser I like my workout clothing. I wear light, breathable clothing that gives me plenty of room! I am obsessed with these Nike Tank Tops for these hot months because they catch any sort of breeze. I also wear my looser shorts instead of my spandex because I do not feel as HOT at the end of my workout if I have more room to move. If you are running in the sun, wear a hat and sunscreen! When you blood is pumping you are more susceptible to UV Damage.

Plan and Prepare: You have to time your exercise out more during the summer than ever.  In every other time of the year, I just think to myself… shoot I should workout in the next hour… but going for a run at 3:00 in the afternoon in July might actually kill me. I recommend running EARLY in the morning. Wake up at 5:30 AM or earlier before the sun rises and really heats things up. Do NOT be one of those people who is running at noon in 100 degree weather… You will not perform to your full potential, and it will turn you off to running for a week. Running at night is an option too, after the sun sets but a little more difficult because it still stays hot for an hour or two…  and then if you wait, you are running in the middle of the night.

I think exercising and staying fit in the summer is SO HARD because you have to stay prepared. Not to mention everyone is chilling by the pool, drinking beer, relaxing and getting their leisure on… The last thing I want to do when everyone is enjoying themselves is go for an exhausting, hot, slow run. ‘Get it done early,’ has always been my mentality… It will give you a boost for the rest of the day.

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