Er… I mean Florida. Okay, Okay, I joke. I love Florida. Florida is not hell Florida is beautiful… Beaches, Theme Parks, Sunshine… Sunshine… Right, that’s what that is. Sunshine. It isn’t hellfire. Sometimes when I’m running in the 102 degree summer weather, heat index of 120, I get confused. It feels a little hellish. So as the song goes: “If you’re going through hell, keep on going. Don’t slow down…” Wait what? That is some terrible advice! Slow down. Seriously slow down. You have to. If your running times don’t go up at least a little with the temperatures, then I need running advice from you. Otherwise, read on.
There isn’t much I would consider myself an expert on, but running in high temperatures without dying is one thing I know about What are my credentials, you ask? I run in Florida, in the summer and I am not dead. Impressed? You should be. Obviously you can’t just stop running when the temperatures rise. Most races are in the fall, and you don’t want to undo all your spring training. Also if you run just to stay sane (ish) and happy (like I do), you don’t want to spend all summer insane and depressed. Of course you could train indoors (wimp), but what fun is that? Runners run outside rain or shine, and people think the rain is the hard part. Sometimes it’s the shine that kills you! So I put together a few tips that I follow (and one I don’t) for surviving the heat.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Eight Eight Ounce glasses a day? More like eight eight ounce glasses before and during your morning run!
I start with two of these while I drink my coffee, and as I get ready to run. Then, depending on the distance I’m planning, I bring at least one, probably two, bottles of water on the run with me. Of course carrying all that can be a problem. That’s your problem. My stroller has cup holders. Carry it or use one of those weird water backpack thingies. Sure they’re as dorky as a fanny-pack and Crocs, but you need water! It’s not like anyone actually looks good running in 100 degree weather anyway, so get over it, and find a way to bring water.
See? Even Jane Austin agrees! You may be in a state of inelegance, but it is better than being in a state of heat exhaustion and dehydration.
And if you’re a stroller running Mama (or Daddy), don’t forget to keep the little ones hydrated. I’m actually way better about that than I am about bringing my own drink. I have been known to beg the girls for just a tiny sip. I don’t recommend it. They are misers, and they chew their straws (ew!) So get your own!
Yes, I hinted at this in the beginning. It isn’t even a choice for me. Sometimes I try to pay attention to pace and keep it up where I think it should be. I can’t. If I run fast in the beginning, I will slow down… waaayyyyy down. I will feel like I am running through molasses. One time I felt like I was doing the Chariots of Fire slow mo run… music and all. Even my thoughts slowed down. It was weird and kind of scary. My point, choose to slow down or your body will do it for you. If you are using a training plan, use effort based goals instead of pace. For example, feel free to push yourself the way you would on a 5K, but don’t expect your results to be the same.
Run In the Coolest Part of the Day
Yeah… about that… I totally don’t. In fact I seem to always pick the very hottest part of the day. I guess I feel like it is like some crazy runner badge of honor or something (crazy being the key word). I frequently have conversations like this:
Incredulous person: You ran today? Today? At what time?
Crazy Person (Me): Yeah. 1:30-2:30 or so.
Incredulous person then responds with incredulous face and crazy person shrugs.
Crazy Person: I’m used to it. I’m a Florida girl and I like it.
Anyway do as I say, not as I do. Run first thing in the morning or in the evening or if you are brave and not afraid of the dark, you could go at night (I’m not and I don’t).
Keep running. Follow my hot weather tips or else… You. Will. Die. I exaggerate (but seriously, you might). Happy Hot running in hell everyone! Soon it’ll be winter and we can all complain about running in the freezing cold weather. Crazy runners!
Do you have any hot weather running tips to add?
Would you rather run in extremely hot or extremely cold weather?