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.
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.
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.
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.