We are coming to an end of the cold months and now it’s time to plan for some warm weather running. Just like you prepare yourself for cold weather running you need to with warm weather. It is just as challenging and even in some circumstances dangerous. Danger might be my middle name, but I’m getting older and as much as I take pleasure in pushing my limits, I also don’t want to end up in a hospital bed. Here’s some tips to get you started…..complete with bullet points to make it feel super cereal and official.
- Hydration – Don’t ever underestimate hydrating. Listen to the stubborn old gal who hates hydrating, begrudges hydrating, and complains about it to anyone who will listen. It is a constant battle for me, but I assure you it is 100% necessary. Water, Gatorade, tablets, supplements……it’s not as if there isn’t a lot of options out there and yet it still is a challenge. But just do it.
- Plan Your Run Early – This is a must. Midwest summers can be as brutal as their winters. By midday you’re not only dealing with 80-90 degree temperatures, but nasty humidity. Your best bet is getting out at 4 or 5 a.m. and getting an early start. No one wants to get up too early in the summer, but you’ll be thanking me at noon when you’re sitting still stretching.
- Take it slow at first. – Don’t push yourself as hard as you usually would at first. Test the waters and see how your body reacts. Take baby steps and adjust accordingly.
- Stock money, your ID, and your phone. – There’s a real chance you can pass out during a hot summer run. Or even need to walk home or back to your location. Having some money to stop and get more water at a gas station, your phone in case you need to call for help, or your ID when worse case scenario someone else has to call for help and identify you. I now wear an ID bracelet. I haven’t taken it off in two years. It says mother of dragons on it. 😉
- Dress appropriately – If you go out early it might be cool at first, be prepared to possibly shed a layer. Wear head bands if your face sweats, a hat to keep the sun off your face (skin cancer on the face is just as dangerous as the rest of your body), prepare for chaffing (I use Vaseline), and don’t be self conscious about your body and cover up. I’m in short shorts, tank tops, and sometimes just a sports bra. It’s not to look hot, it’s because I am HOT and I sweat profusely.
A lot is trial and error. Some things will work one day and not another, but these are all sound tips and if you follow them I assure you that you will have a head start against the challenges of running in warm weather. Be cautious, be careful, be bold and be magical!