And finally, it's official: summer is here. The last two weeks or so have been much sweatier than the many months before them. A few times lately I've been struck by how much easier it is to face this weather now than it was even just a few years ago--experience makes a world of difference. So, I thought, why not put together a list of things learned? Hopefully this is helpful! In no particular order:
- Getting up early is worth it when hot weather is in play. It might take a while to learn to go to bed earlier (I'm still not great at this), but it's worth it. Someday you'll feel sorry for that guy out running at 9am.
- Buy some appropriate hydration gear, like a Nathan Handheld or something similar and get comfortable with using it. I used to rely on water fountains in the park. With a handheld, I decrease stops, and I can venture into new areas that might not have fountains. Also, it provides another pocket for Gu, keys, ID, whatever.
- Acquire 2-3 changes of non-cotton running clothes, including shirts, shorts, and absolutely socks.
- Ladies, this also means getting a real, non-cotton sports bra. Yes, they can be expensive. But of the maybe 5-6 women who I've coerced/encouraged/helped to get a real sports bra, almost all have come back to tell me what a huge difference it made for them. If you need suggestions, Runner's World keeps a good, current set of reviews by body type. REI Outlet sometimes has good sales.
- Drink something cold before heading out. Runner's World reported on this a year or so ago, that by cooling your core temp before a hot run, you can endure the heat better. I believe them.
- This isn't specific to heat, but while I'm at it, I will remind you all to PLEASE always run with identification and, if possible, insurance and emergency contact information. I rely on this, though there are certainly many options. Whether you are facing heat stroke, a run-in with a car, or other issues, this can be a life saver.
Certainly there are other tips, but I think those are the ones that I've relied on the most. Go run strong as summer brings the heat!