The sun is shining, your skin feels like melting, you go outside and feel the temperature, and it makes you feel like going back inside.
The summer is actually a great time to run or chase your fitness goals because you don’t have school and have more time! It’s also a great opportunity to get faster for the cross country season in the fall!
Heat training will prepare you for races in the unavoidable heat! It will also make you feel like running in more comfortable temperatures is easier, which gives you an advantage!
Instead of avoiding the heat, adapt to it. The heat improves the efficiency of blood flowing from your core to your skin, which also gives you an advantage. Your body gets better at adjusting its core temperature and increases its blood volume, and sweating can help you get rid of toxins from your body! Let the advantages motivate you to dive into the sun!
Also, what I love about summer is the long daylight! It opens up more opportunities for you to run outside during the day. Appreciate this!
But if you are not sure if it’s safe to run outside, you can check the weather forecast for the heat and air quality index.
1. Drink water
Not drinking enough water can make your muscles cramp or feel lightheaded or nauseous during your run. I don’t want this to happen to you so I want you to drink water often throughout the day (make sure your pee is a very light shade of yellow!). Other consequences of not drinking enough fluid are heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
But don’t drink too much before a run if you don’t want to get a side stitch. I usually like to stop drinking water about 30-60 mins before a run! Sometimes, I also drink water during a run if I’m out for longer than one hour! If you’re running for more than an hour and sweating a lot, then you should also bring along a drink with electrolytes.
When you sweat a lot, you also lose salt and other electrolytes. Don’t avoid salt in your diet because it’s important for your body to maintain fluid and not dehydrate due to osmosis.
Try not to drink drinks with caffeine or alcohol because they are diuretics, which makes you lose more water in your urine. Also, avoid foods high protein because those are harder on your digest, which will produce more heat in your body because those take more energy to digest.
Try running in the morning or evening. Try to avoid running outside between 10am-4pm. Heat training will help you if you’re training for a race, but there comes to a point where it will affect your health, especially if the heat and air quality index is poor. If you don’t have other times to run, try a treadmill, or cross train or pool running!
The clothes you wear can affect your experience of your run. Try to wear loose and light colored clothes. Dark colors absorb heat which can make you feel like a stove. I like to run with a T-shirt and running shorts. You can also try dry-fit/tech clothing, which are lighter and help your sweat dry faster.
Try to avoid wearing anything on your head because that’s where your body loses the most heat. If you want to wear a hat to avoid sunburn on your beautiful face, try a visor. Instead, you can try pouring water on your head when you feel extremely warm.
I don’t want you to get skin cancer! Maybe also try sunglasses to also protect your beautiful eyes from the sun!
Sunburnt skin also loses its ability to sweat, which will not help you feel cooler.
5. Plan your route
The asphalt and track absorbs heat, so it’s best to avoid them during the middle of the day. Try trail running and planning your route around water fountains!
Running besides a large body of water will also be cooler. It’s also nice to end your run with a swim or pool running!
6. Seek a buddy!
Also, when it’s hot outside, it’s a good idea to run with a group or someone else so you can watch for each other’s safety! You should also let your family members know your running route just in case.
7. Make adjustments
Try to avoid long and high intensity workouts when the sun is at it’s strongest. If you are not able to run when the sun is not as strong, then try going for an easier run or run another day. I don’t want you to get a heat stroke.
Also, when you run in the heat, it can slow your pace by 1.5-3% for every 10 degrees above 55 Fahrenheit. You can also try running your first mile slower and then negative splits to have your body adjust and your legs won’t be feeling like lead the whole run if you don’t run the first mile hard. Because of this, you can also try running based on effort without a GPS watch.
I have 5k anxiety! Before anyone starts attacking me saying that I’m making light of mental illness; I have regular anxiety too. Mental illnesses such as anxiety and OCD run rampant in my family. Usually, these are what make me such a disciplined runner. However, they have also been my downfall. I haven’t run a 5k in two years. Well, I did a couple of times my senior year cross country season and they were absolutely terrible and I don’t even like thinking about them. My coach was horribly mean that year, making me feel like a basket case and that I would never amount to anything and I began developing a mental block against longer distance races– which I used to love. Just thinking about them made me feel like I was gonna throw up and I would start to feel dizzy. Racing them, I could barely focus for more than a mile and than I would just fall apart. I was injured this fall for cross country, so I could just push this block to the back of my mind where it nestled in deeper and deeper.
However, all things must come to an end, and my dad made me do a 5k this morning with him so I had to confront this block head on. I was so, so nervous. Who gets nervous before a family fun 5k? Me. I experienced all the familiar feelings at the start line, yet when the gun went off– my world did not cease to exist. I went out hard, faltered slightly through the middle, but pulled it together for a strong finish. I ran a 19:30. I know for a D1 runner this is nowhere near a time to be bragging about. Yet, I am so proud of myself because there were so many times I wanted to be done and give up but I forced myself to stay engaged and finish. My senior year, I would simply check out and run a shitty time because I didn’t believe I was capable and at least if I ran a shitty time– I could blame it on something else. Today, I tried. Now, I want to run another race. And another one. And I know as I continue to grow accustomed to the gun and the runners around me and the pain in my lungs (so different than in an 800 or a mile), I will grow. My times will drop. I will fall in love with racing again.
This was long but I really needed to put this out there. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do a good enough job showing the hard parts of running for me, and it’s so much more beneficial for me just to be honest and straightforward. I love all of you guys, and you inspire me and give me support in so many ways. I hope this can help some of you in that same way
Today I ran 10 miles simply because I could. My last high school cross country season came to a close last Thursday, so I am trying to make the most of still being in shape from the season, and having freedom with my training.
There is about a 15 pound difference in these two photos. I don’t think I look that different. On the left is me this last cross country season, after having the most successful year in running of my life. I’ve broken personal records in the 1600 by 30 seconds and both one min in the 3200 and 5000 (xc).
On the right is me very close to my goal weight.
If my family sees this, I don’t usually pose in front of the mirror like this haha. I used to be insecure about my arms because they looked like sticks and now they dont! :D For all this time, I was underweight because I was very picky about my food. For the longest time, I was afraid to admit to myself that this is the reason of the injury that left me side-lined for all of track season in 2015.
Even though I just came off the best xc season of my life, I had back to back racing for the last month and completely burned out at my last race. Even my chaperone at footlocker nationals (I think he’s the race director of mt sac) politely tried to tell me that if I had more weight, I wouldn’t have burnt out so badly because most other athletes didn’t burn out as bad as I did with back to back racing.
I burnt out so bad both mentally and physically. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy running or working out at all for the next few months as much as I tried. That intense training/racing at a low weight for months set me up on a downward slope. But after starting to gain weight, I finally started to feel good working out.
At first when I was injured, I had no idea it was going to be this bad. I had no idea my weight was a problem. I had no idea my whole running career was at stake. It didn’t even register in me until a month in my injury, when every single person said it was due to my weight. I didn’t want to believe it. My weight is something i have some control over.
Why did i do this to myself? I didn’t want to believe my entire track season disappeared because of this, I felt so irresponsible. I felt like such a bad person. I was a fast person that people looked up to. I don’t want to make them believe thin=fast because it does temporarily, but is completely not worth it in the long run because it is not sustainable. I want to be a good role model. I refuse to cause eating disorders in other athletes.
Strong is inspirational. Thin/weak looks irresponsible to me. Strength is beautiful.
I’m so happy I don’t have to hear how I look thin anymore. I can’t wait to come back stronger. I probably weigh the most I’ve ever had in my life right now, but I feel stronger than ever. I can now swim for longer than I ever could and can’t wait to see how that will translate into running. As long as I keep thinking happy thoughts, everything will be alright.
I feel like a lot of distance runners equate thin=fast. This may be true to some point, but then your body starts breaking down because this is not sustainable with the amount you are training.
Alright guys. This is my before picture. Summer training for me starts Sunday- this summer I am making a commitment to not only my mileage but lifting, working on my core/abs, and eating HEALTHY! Let’s see just how fit I can get before cross country season starts!
A year ago if you asked me if I planned on running cross country I would’ve replied, “No way, they don’t even do 5ks anymore they do 6ks! That’s way too hard!” This weekend I finished my first collegiate cross country season at our regional championships. To think I’d be able to come this far in a year let alone even run cross country in college amazes me everyday. Sticking with it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I can’t wait to see what’s in store the rest of this year. 😁❤️🐾💪🏼🏃🏼