Heat Training Tips; How to adjust for summer workouts

WHEW, that was tough. I just finished 14miles including a warm up, 6x30sec hills, 4miles of tempo, 6x30sec hills, and a cool down (see Final Surge Data)Things didn't go 100% according to plan, and that's okay for a few reasons. 1-It is HOT, 80 when I started and 90 when I finished. 2-It was my first real workout since May. I took two weeks off to reset after my spring racing season, and now I am fresh (mentally) to start a marathon build up! 3-I listened to my body and did what set me up for the best success instead of killing myself or blowing up. I am human, and I recognize that heat is a huge stress on the body, plus being out of shape doesn't help. So I cut myself a break, and I got in a solid effort, and now I am recovering and rehydrating, and no better time to share with you my tips for summer training.

1-RUN EARLY: Set yourself up for SUCCESS by running first thing in the morning. It is way easier to wake up, run early, and get it done, than to have life get in the way and you're left trying to force a run in the heat or after a long day.

2-HYDRATE: I recommend waking up at least 30mins before you head out for a run to consume 12-24oz of electrolytes. If you have a long run or a hard workout, get creative with your options during the run... know where you can stop every 2-4miles to get a drink, leave a bottle and run a 2-4mile loop or out and backs, carry a bottle, or have a friend/significant other bike with you to provide fluids.

3-ADJUST: Recognize that the heat is an additional stress on your body. You should not expect to hit the same splits as you could on a cool day. Split your miles for a shorter run in the AM and PM if you don't have the ability to get out before the heat kicks in. Slow down, focus on effort vs pace. Add in an extra minute of two of recovery in between intervals or pause tempos to dump water on your head and to get a drink. Cut the long runs back a mile or two or find locations more suitable for hot weather that can provide more shade, and listen to your body if you start to feel dizzy or over heated... be smart!

4-RECOVER: To help boost recovery after a hot run, take a cool shower, get in the pool, or put your feet in a creek to bring the core temperature down. You will find this strategy will prevent you from feeling so zapped the rest of the day.

5-REHYDRATE: After a hot workout, you will be in the hole in terms of hydration. Spend the first 30mins post run being sure to get in a lot of fluids. I recommend an electrolyte mix because something with flavor is more appealing and it will help you get caught on on your hydration needs. One of the tools I use to help remind me to drink is the Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Bottle. It alerts me to keep drinking and ensures I never get dehydrated. I set personal hydration goals and it counts the ounces consumed to keep me on track during the day. Rehydrating after a workout in the heat is critical to ward off cramps, injury, and help me get my body ready to run again tomorrow!

6-REFUEL: It can be tough to eat after a workout in the heat. My belly often feels icky, but replenishing is very important to reap the benefit of the workout you just put your body through! Try greek yogurt, fruit, a smoothie (my Summer Smoothie recipe!), kombucha, coconut water, or my new fav from Power Bar is the Clean Whey Protein Drink that is a water base vs a milk base. These liquidy calories are easier on the stomach and your body will be able to start the recovery process once you get some fuel in the tank.

Hope you can use these tips to help your own training this summer, please reach out if you have any follow up questions! (neelyruns@gmail.com)


Happy (Summer) Training from my suffer fest buddies and I :)