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.
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.
It doesn't matter how fast or how committed you are.
There are going to be days where you feel as though you’ve lost every ounce of motivation in your body. You need to find it. Search long and hard. Look past the soreness and the aches. Whatever you need to do, do it. You must have the willpower to push even when you want to give up, your desire to win must be more rewarding than taking the easy way out. You must find comfort in the uncomfortable. The only thing separating you from every other runner is whether or not you are able to say you gave it everything you had today.
First ever college cross country workout AND it’s global running day?!?! Coïncidence????? Probably. But! I’ve never been so excited to wake up at 6am and run around in the middle of the southern california desert. I feel like there are lots of great things to come this XC season. CROSS COUNTRY IS HERE YOU GUYS I’M A COLLEGE CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! happy :)
It seems pretty
dumb to say that my love is my sport. In fact, it seems like some sort of cliché
you would see in an under quality sports movie. But after years of running, I have come to the
conclusion that running is more like my life partner than my sport. I can
survive without it, but why would I want to be without? I can be complete
without running, but I feel more whole when it is with me. Of course running
and I haven’t always had the perfect relationship. I’ve complained, cried, been
angry. We certainly did not have love at first sight. I’ve wanted to give up during
workouts and races. But never have I once wanted to quit on running. Never have
I once considered that running and I would not grow old together. I knew it was
special. It had given me strength in the darkest of times, it had given me
revelation upon revelation. It had brought me peace, and it connected me to
nature, my friends, my family. And most of all, in times when my soul, my mind,
my life felt weak, it made me feel strong.
ask how I do it. They call me crazy when I run 7 miles or run in the rain. They
act shocked when I say I did an 8 mile interval workout, as if I just pulled it
out of my butt, exclaiming that they could ‘never do that.’ But what they don’t
see is the countless mornings I roll out of bed at 7am just to struggle on a 2
mile run. They don’t see the sweat, the tears, even the blood on my feet or
from the times I have tripped, the scar on my leg from that race sophomore year
when a girl spiked me. They don’t see the days I am forced to cross train
indoors, longing to be outside in the wind and the sun. They miss the days
where I am tired and drained, but I run anyway. They can’t fathom the thousands
upon thousands of doubtful thoughts in my head that I am forced to throw aside
during each run. They act as if I was born into running. My proposal is that
anyone can run. Anyone can work up to 7 miles. Anyone can get up at 7am for a
workout. But most people choose not to. Most people don’t like being uncomfortable,
being exposed, being raw. I guess that’s what makes runners crazy.
fight I have with my life partner is over my shins. You see, even though I
believe in my heart and soul that running and I were meant to be together,
sometimes it feels as if the universe is against us. For years now, my shins
have constantly been in defiance against running. They claim I have an
unhealthy relationship, and let me tell you, their complaints are heard. Some
nights I would practically crawl up the stairs, others I would be forced to
wear gym shoes with dresses in fear of the pain. I’ve run my shins down to the
wire, air cast after air cast, ice bath after ice bath, until finally I was
forced to take almost a year off in the prime years of my collegiate running
career. Family, friends, doctors insisted I should leave running, give it up,
find a different partner, whisk it away as if we had not been in love all these
years, as if it was simply a phase in my life that was ending. I got angry at
these people, insulted even. I didn’t get how they thought I could so easily
throw something away that had made me who I was. I did not understand at the
time that they only wanted me to be healthy and not damage my legs permanently.
All I could see was the pain of losing the thing I loved more than anything I
had ever loved. I had never imagined that I could lose running, especially
forever. I was told that I should become a swimmer. I was told that running and
my body would keep causing shin problems. All my dreams of running marathons,
being a 60 year old runner, running with my kids one day; those dreams started
to feel distant and mangled. I started to lose myself at that point, and I went
down a path of laziness, defiance, wanting to be alone, feeling so weak.
It wasn’t until
a few months of no running went by that I realized I was a person without my
sport. I was not simply defined by my running shoes, like I had always thought.
I had more to offer the world. And that was when I realized, running truly is
my passion. It’s not some sport I picked up in high school. It is the reason I
am who I am today. I’m not very good at it. At best in high school, I was 6th
on varsity. I’ve never been top 10 in a race. Heck, I’ve never been top 20.
Probably not even top 50, depending on the race size. None of that mattered to
me though because running was what I was meant to do. But without it, I am
Finally, when I started
running again, it was frustrating. I am doomed to a cross country season of
running every other day and no track season. I will not have good times this
season, and I certainly won’t make top 7 like I had hoped. I believe in the
underdog, but this is more like a “barely hanging on” situation than a “you
might surprise everyone” kind of thing. My teammates will not understand why I
run every other day and they might not even ask. I will struggle in workouts, I
will be behind the team all season. When I race at my college, my friends will
come to watch and I will probably be towards the back of the race. People have
asked me over and over why I am continuing this sport on a team, or why I
continue it at all. You see, running has never been about winning to me. Of
course I am not satisfied when I am in the back, but if I gave everything I had
that day, I am proud of myself. This season, I will not take a single step for
granted. I will push myself every single damn workout because just 10 months
ago, I was told in the doctor’s office that I might not be able to ever run
again. I will never complain because it would be stupid to complain about
something that is the reason I am here today. And if my shins start to hurt
again, I will stop because I want to take care of my body and make sure I can
run forever, even if that means running only once a week the rest of my life.
Running is my
life partner. Running is the heartbeat to the melody of my soul. It is where
some of my best friends and best mentors came from. I hear people complain
during workouts, and I want to smack some sense into them. I hear about people
who claim to be passionate about running skipping runs simply because they didn’t
feel like running that day, and I get angry. I’m not saying you have to
dedicate your life to running. I’m not saying off days are not necessary. I’m certainly
not saying you should push your body to its breaking point. All I am saying is
that if you claim to be passionate about something, be passionate about it. I
learned that lesson the hard way. There aren’t many things in life that make
your heart beat faster, your soul jump to the sky, your eyes twinkle, and round
you into a better person. Don’t take running for granted. Don’t complain.
Because complaining won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it will only slow you
down. Running is my soulmate. I hope you’ve realized if it’s yours too.
Ehhhhh, so I wrote another thing! I’ve been feeling kinda like crap today so you’re all going to share in my angst, mwahahahahaaaa. I’m still not 100% happy with this one and it may go through a few more edits before we’re done, but I just needed to write it today. Angst ahead.