When it comes to exercise, I am a dabbler. On my laundry list of fitness pursuits once considered my absolute favorite thing ever: free weights, BodyPump, Spin, Yoga, Pilates, BodyAttack, KickBoxing, Boot Camp, HIIT and…running. I always come back to running.
While it’s my first love, injuries have taught me that I should be more of a 5-miles-a-couple-of-times-a-week runner, not a marathoner. I’m totally okay with that. Running is where I hit my zone. As my feet and breath fall into a familiar rhythm my brain gets a vacation. It’s like a drug. I need to run. But what’s a girl to do in this sweltering heat? Here are a few tips:
1. Morning, never afternoon. The earlier you get your tush out of bed, the more pleasant your run is going to be. First light is by far the coolest part of the day. Use it. Set your alarm early and enjoy your time outside.
2. Visor, not hat. My outdoor runs aways include a visor. Always. I need something to keep the sun and sweat out of my eyes. Hats keep heat in. Visors let heat out. Embrace your inner tennis mom and buy a visor.
3. Water, never soda. I first swore off soda in the midst of sweltering two-a-days for softball. (I pitched for a highly competitive traveling team. I’ll tell you more about it sometime.) I used to drink Sprite, but found that it made me sick on the playing field. I gave up soda then, and haven’t ever picked the habit back up. Ditch the can. Drink loads of water.
4. Get the most bang for your time. Logic tells you that it’s not ideal to train for a marathon in 95 degree heat coupled with 95 percent humidity. Unless you hail from somewhere far north of sweet home Alabama, save your ridiculously long runs for the fall.
Instead of adding time, use the summer months to add intensity. Yesterday, I ran 4 miles through the neighborhoods that surround our local high school. I used the last ten minutes I had allotted as exercise time to sprint the stadiums. You can also knock out a 40-yard dash, kill some burpees or turn the sideline benches into the most wicked step machine you’ve ever used. Get creative, get your heart rate up.
Do you run in the summer? Care to share any survival tips?