Summer can be an unforgiving time for runners – particularly if like me you prefer the outdoors and you live somewhere pretty warm! But it doesn’t have to derail your summer training plans. And although you might not feel like your fitness is improving, once the temperature drops again you are going to see the great improvements to your fitness.
1) Go for a swim or cross-train
Summer is a great time for changing up your normal routine. That might be a swim or yoga or crossfit or pilates of a gym group class. Some of those places are even air conditioned. It can also be a great way to keep up your moving when your kids are on school holidays too and you are adjusting to not quite as much alone time!
2) Check out the weather forecast for the week
I still like to get out for a long run once a week if I can, but to do that I tend to have a scan of the temperature over the next seven days and see which day is going to work best for that. Hopefully that day is less than 30 degrees. That’s the dream.
3) Go early or go late
For my long run I have to go at around 9:30am on preschool days so I don’t really have this option (hence the obsessive weather checking) but on other days it is so much easier to go at around 5 in the morning or 5 in the evening.
4) Go for speed over distance
Summer can be a great time to work on your short distance. It’s a lot easier to go for a quick, fast run rather than coping in the heat for an hour or more at a time. Working on a fast 5k can be a a great foundation heading into the cooler months and it can be a lot easier to fit in that kind of training around silly season commitments too!
No brainer here! Drink plenty of water before you go and when you get back. Make sure you use plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat and often short sleeves is better than a singlet for a bit of sun protection. For longer runs, definitely use a hydration pack if your route doesn’t have ready access to water. On particularly hot days I also put an ice pack in my hydration pack to help keep me cool.
6) Take it easy
Don’t expect to be able to run as fast on a 30 degree day as you would on a 10 degree day. Go for perceived effort, rather than a set pace that you usually run.
7) Pick your battles
Let’s face it, some days despite your best intentions it’s just not going to happen. 40 degrees is not going to be the day for your long run. You still want to be able to enjoy it. So sometimes that might mean moving things around or skipping something here or there. It’s ok. You should probably be buying Christmas presents anyway.
What are your best tips for summer moving?