Five observations about running in the heat

Back when I first started out (and before I had proper gear), I wrote about my general disdain for running in cold weather. So far, this summer has more than made up for any frigid temps we may have experienced in the winter. In fact, here in Louisville, this July has been the second hottest month – ever.

Five Observations About Running in the Heat

1. The scenery is awesome. I’m lucky to live in a city that cherishes its parks. The green foliage, cools streams and winding paths that make up Louisville’s biggest parks provide instant inspiration for getting out there and putting in some miles. It also helps that the preservation of these parks means old-growth trees – and with those, the shade they provide.

Routes like this help make morning runs easier.

2. Water isn’t just for Saturdays. Hydration is a weeklong effort. I bet I’ve sweat more than 50 gallons this training session. Summers are always humid in Kentucky, but there have been some absolutely unbearable days in the past few weeks. To that end, there have been some mornings where I’ve avoided running altogether, choosing instead to cram my three weekday runs into two longer distances.

3. Like cold weather running, equipment matters. While some of my comrades get a kick out of showing off their legs and thighs, I tend to be a little more reserved. I still wear my running shorts, but I have not ventured into showing it all off. And more than ever, my fuel belt comes in handy. I find myself chugging water at walk breaks and catch-up points.

4. Running in the city in the summer stinks. Literally. Since I’ve started running with the NQRFPTR group, we’ve trekked downtown for most of our long Saturday runs. The stench of dead things mixed with the leftovers of Friday night debauchery combine to create something terrible we’ve nicknamed “hot garbage.” And then there’s actual hot garbage to add to the pungent assault on our olfactory cells.

Fortunately, there’s no hot garbage on the ShelbyHurst campus.

5. It’ll turn you into a morning person. My training runs haven’t been intolerable so far, but I still like to log my weekday runs before work. And on Saturdays, we’ve been meeting at 6:30. You just have to make yourself get out of bed to beat the heat. There’s nothing like being finished with a 10-mile run on a Saturday morning and still find you have the whole day ahead of you.

The temp swings before and after sunrise can be 10 degrees or more.

So even though it’s been a brutally hot summer, I’ve enjoyed the training runs so far. And I hope it makes fall training that much easier.

Keep running, friends.


5 responses to “Five observations about running in the heat

  1. 6. Cycling makes it feel 20 degrees cooler and is great cross training. Some even say that one of the best ways to increase your running speed is to start cycling. 🙂

  2. Summer is such a necessary evil. I dread it every year and I can never seem to get used to it. My times decline, my overall mileage plummets and I feel a perpetual sluggishness … and then fall rolls around and you reap all the benefits. Suddenly, you’re much faster and fitter than you were in the spring. So while it sucks for the time being, you’ll thank yourself during Marine Corps.

    I hear you about becoming a morning person though. I’ve done more morning runs in the last two months than I have my whole life. Plus, I’ve discovered the joys of doubling-up: a morning AND an after work run. Don’t do them that often, but it’s a great way to knock out 14+ miles in one day without killing yourself.

    • Dan, I hope you (and the other experienced runners who share your view) are right about summer training making fall running easier. I’m ready for the the temperature to break, and August just started.

      Two-a-days, eh?! Hardcore, but I’d expect no less from you, Mr. Solera.

  3. Oh the heat!! I will be trying to tackle the southern heat this afternoon for the first time. It’s brutal, but not as brutal as seeing fatty pictures of myself! 🙂 Keep up the good work! Love the blog!

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