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If there’s one thing I’ve learned after living in Florida for most of the past decade, it is that running in the summer time is hard! I used to think distance running during the Michigan summers was difficult, and it really was, but it only gets more difficult as the mercury goes higher. But, if you train properly, you can get some quality mileage in on even the hottest of days.
1–Acclimatize Yourself. It may be difficult to do now, but if you have been running fairly regularly since April or May your body may be used to the high temperatures and be able to push for some higher mileage during this very hot time of the year. If you are just now starting your training plan for a fall race, that’s ok; you just need to be realistic with yourself. You may need to progress more slowly, add an extra recovery day, or break your long runs in half for a morning and evening run in order to avoid burning yourself out during the warmer months.
2–Modify Your Expectations. When your body has to work overtime to keep from overheating, your speed and endurance will suffer. That’s ok. Just remember that it will pay off in the end. As the weather cools in the fall, your body will be able to allot more energy to your running and you will be amazed how much faster you suddenly are, virtually overnight.
3–Take Care of Your Body. I hope you know that you need to hydrate more during the summertime. But did you know that it’s almost as important to be eating well during these hot months as it is to be drinking ample amounts of water? When you are exercising at a high intensity, your body needs the fuel from healthy foods to perform, keep from cramping, and to get stronger. Water is still the most important thing you can ingest, but a good diet is a very close second. Also, don’t forget that a good night’s sleep helps your body to recover as quickly as possible, so make an honest effort to get in your 7-8 hours every night.
Like I said, running when it’s really hot is tough. If you do it smartly, not only can you beat the heat but you can actually thrive in it. And when the fall weather gets here, you will be amazed how much stronger you have become after persevering during the summer months.
About the Author: Denny Krahe is a personal trainer at DK FitSolutions
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