It never fails! Every year, I run through the winter, Spring hits, the temperature starts to rise, and then there's that one run, usually in June, when I finish I say WTF!! You'd think I'd be prepared for it! It comes EVERY year! Maybe it's my bad memory or just maybe denial, but none the less, it happens. That run happened last Tuesday! I had a little extra time in the morning, so I decided to go for what was then my long run of an hour an fifteen. Just like every other morning, I left from the Homewood store up the hill toward Vulcan to hit the 4 Village route, with the intentions of adding on to make it close to 10 miles. I hit mile two and realized that day was going to be different. I was soaked! I hit Jack's Shell, drank a couple of cups of water, poured a couple on my head, and hit the hill back over Montevallo. By the time mile 5 hit, I was just like, "Make it through it man!". I did it! 1 hour and 15 minutes of soaked singlet, sloshing shoes and SOUP!
When I got back to the store, I turned on my computer to check the weather. The temperature at 10:30 was almost 80 and the humidity was 85! Then, I took a look at Facebook to see an article reposted on the Resolute Running page from Runners World entitled "Tips for running in humidity". Man, that was timely! The article mentioned humidity basically counteracts your bodies number one defense against the heat, sweat. To paraphrase, when your body temp rises, you begin to sweat and that sweat is SUPPOSED to evaporate to cool your skin, thus lowering your body temp. Well, when the moisture in the air is virtually equal to the moisture on your body, there is no evaporation, and you just keep sweating, dehydrating yourself further! The article gives some tips like running indoors on a treadmill or checking the weather forecast for the time of lowest humidity. Since I'm not a treadmill guy and I can't run at 11:51, the time of lowest humidity on June 10, I have to come up with a PLAN to get through, and I'd imagine most of you are the same. So, here's what I do!
First things first! Properly hydrate! I know I have blogged about this before, but it is absolutely necessary for successful training in the summer! Proper hydration does not mean drink a ton of water the day before a long run or race! PROPER hydration, much like training, has to be consistent. You've heard that "8 x 8 ounces of fluid a day" right? Well, if you run daily, it should probably be more like 12 x 8 ounces of fluid a day! Pay particular attention to that all important word fluid! It doesn't just mean water! While I'll fill my 20 oz. water bottle at least 3 times a day at work, I'll often mix it with the very convenient and dis-solvable Nuun tablet to ensure I have the proper amounts of electrolytes in my body to retain that water, and well add a little flavor!
Recovery is next! Of course, the before mentioned things will help you get through the SOUP, but after you've dropped a few pounds in water weight alone, it is VERY important to replenish immediately! You see, after you've lost all that water in sweat, you've also depleted your body of electrolytes, nutrients and broken your muscles down. A recent study suggested chocolate milk, high in calcium and protein, is good recovery drink choice. I've tried it, and it ain't bad, but my recovery drink of choice is GU Recovery Brew. I mix a bottle of it's high carb, high protein, amino acid and antioxidant blend the night before a long run or workout and have it ready for right after the run. For you heavy shweaters, this is a MUST!
To talk about the gear a bit, if you ain't in tech fabrics for apparel, sock or caps, please stop by The Trak Shak and invest! Cotton fibers are thick and hold a lot of moisture, not only increasing your body temperature, but adding weight to carry. Our summer lines of Nike, Asics, Saucony and Mizuno apparel are made of lightweight polyester, nylon blends, and are vented well. Socks from Feetures, Balega, Swiftwick and Asics are made of the same non-cotton materials, wicking moisture from your feet, decreasing that sloshing thing I mentioned before. And for those of you hating on knee high compression socks from CEP in the summer, thing about this! The more moisture caught by that sock, the less moisture in your shoe and around your feet. Oh, and the least bit of breeze that hits that knee high, cools your legs a bit. At least that's what I think!
Lastly, swallow your pride! I know many are a slave to the watch, checking your pace every other stride. Sometimes you just have to accept you're going to run a bit slower in the SOUP. If you hit the road and feel that stuffy air, set your watch screen on the time of day and run how you feel! When you take that uncontrollable glance at the watch, all you'll see is the actual time of your suffering! ;))
Well, this is how I plan to make it through marathon training in the summer! I hope you take something from it and apply it to your everyday running! Got any tips? Please stop by and see me at the shop!I need all the advice I can get!!