You know you’ve found your running tribe when you suggest you head out at 6:30 on a Saturday morning for a 14-mile run to avoid the heat and half a dozen women show up. Even more joined us later on the Lansing River Trail.
So continues our ultra marathon training, which has us ramping up mileage for the foreseeable future. I plugged in the mileage into my online calendar and am following it throughout the week, but not having a print-out on my fridge means that I don’t look ahead, so every weekend long run is a bit of a surprise.
In light of the day’s hot temperatures, here are some tips for running in the heat:
- Start early or go late. With the forecast including temperatures in the 80s, we settled on 6:30 a.m. With 14 miles on deck, however, it wasn’t nearly early enough. We may be meeting up even earlier in the coming weeks. Or go at 8 or 9 at night, when the temperatures are dropping again. Worst case, run on the ‘mill inside.
- Hydrate. Because we run with a formal team, we have water stations with Gatorade and ice water every two miles. But our trail runs have left me water-less with miles to go. I just ordered a Nathan water belt and can’t wait to try it out. Some runner friends stash water in hidden spots along their route; others plan to stop by their local convenience store.
- Dress appropriately. I have some really cute cotton tanks that I just love, but on days like today, it’s tech fabric from head to toe. The wicking properties make a huge difference in making me feel more comfortable. And I always wear my SmartWool socks to avoid blisters.
- Wear sunscreen. Yes, even those of us with dark skin should slather the stuff on. We’re already bound to get weird tan lines; no sense in also getting skin cancer in the process.
- Consider bug spray. Warmer temps also mean more bugs and in our case that means mosquitoes. In previous years, I’ve found individually wrapped Off towelettes. Still looking for them this season.
- Wear a hat or visor. Those of us with little hair should especially cover our heads (or remember to wear sunscreen), while the rest of us can benefit from a brimmed hat to avoid squinting eyes and burnt noses.
- Bring sunglasses. Once again, glasses can provide eye protection and prevent wrinkles. Plus, you’ll look better in your selfies when you’re not squinting into the sun.
- Fuel properly. No matter the temperature, your body still needs those calories, electrolytes and salt. Consider also using salt tablets. I just tried some today and couldn’t tell the difference, but I don’t know if I could have survived the hottest part of our run if I hadn’t been fueling and hydrating properly.
The weather here in Michigan is just going to keep getting hotter into July and August, so I’ll be sure to follow my own advice about running in the heat in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, here’s the week’s meal plan (and here’s how I make my meal plan in the first place.):
- Slow-cooker Chicken Parmesan Pasta, garlic toast, green salad
- Island Chicken with Pineapple Salsa, white rice, (canned) corn
- Hamburgers, baked fries, corn-on-the-cob
- Nachos, lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, salsa
- Turkey panini, chips, fruit
Did you do a long run today? What are your tips for running in the summer heat? If you’ve written about this topic, feel free to share a link to your post below.