Saturday morning I was all, “Eight miles, no biggie, whatevs”. Then I started running those eight miles, sweat dripping from my forehead and into my mouth, I call it a salty hydration drop. It’s hot. It’s uncomfortable. By the seventh mile my stomach was doing acrobatics, I wanted to hurl, and I wanted to walk.
Instead of taking that walk break I yelled at myself, “KEEP MOVING YOU WIMP, IT’S JUST ONE MORE MILE, HTFU”. So I got er done. This run didn’t have to be that hard. I have some hot and humid running strategies that need to be revisited this season.
1. Frozen hat trick. Buy some ugly hats at a thift shop (yes, they have to be ugly, this won’t work if they’re pretty). Soak those wet hats and stick em in the freezer. Before going out for a run, place ugly, frozen hat on your head. Cold head = better running in the heat.
2. Bandanna ice wrap. Buy some ugly bandannas (you know the drill) at a thrift shop. Fold a bandanna in half, place ice cubes neatly in a row, roll it up, and tie it around your neck. Make a fashion statement and keep cool on the run. Win, win.
3. At each mile, pour some water on your head and let it drain down your back. Said water comes from your handheld, your hydration belt, or public water fountains. Not only does it feel good, you look really cool, like a hardcore runner who knows their business.
4. Route your run in shady neighborhoods. Not shady as in hookers and hoodlums, shady as in out of the sun. Today I rerouted my run to stay in a shady neighborhood, and it helped.
5. Hydrate. This should be obvious.
6. Go early, go late, ’nuff said.
7. Buy spray-on sunblock. This way, if you’re home alone before heading out for a run, you can spray those out of reach areas on your back that you wouldn’t get with sunblock lotion.
8. Keep running outside and let yourself get acclimated to it. Last year I did a half marathon in August. I overheard a lot of people during the run complaining about the heat and humidity, I saw people who looked absolutely miserable out there. I felt fine, it was actually less humid weather than I had trained in prior to the race. My guess is that the people who looked miserable trained on a treadmill at the gym.
9. You don’t necessarily have to slow your pace in the heat. Your sense of perceived exertion is distorted because your body is working twice as hard to keep cool and moving. I’m not the scientist though, read the full article here.