You guys! It’s true – I’m finally able to run again (short distances, mind you). I wasn’t sure how my running would come back…or if it would even come back…post MPFL reconstruction, but I’ve been so blessed with a pretty fantastic recovery. I had a great surgeon, a fantastic physical therapy team, and I worked my butt off to get back on my feet. Literally. I’ve been running for about a month now, and I’m loving being able to move my body again, even if it is much slower than it was before.
Summer is the best season to run, but it’s also arguably the most dangerous because of the heat and the sun. I choose to look at the two as a blessing, but it definitely makes for a harder running season. I learned while training for the Chicago Marathon last year that you really need to plan your summer runs, and you definitely need to listen to your body as you train. It’s easier than you’d think to get fatigued before you know it. So, here are four tips you absolutely need to know for summer running.
1 // Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
This is one I seriously can’t stress enough. You might not feel like it, but chances are your body is dehydrating as you go. Every bit of sweat is more hydration that needs to be replenished. When I go on longer runs – even three miles – during the summer, I make sure to have a hydration belt. I use this one from Amphipod, and the two bottles allow me to have one full of water, and one has nuun in it, which I swear by. Also, remember that hydrating is important before, during and after your run, too.
2 // Opt for lighter headgear.
I’m always tempted to run with a hat because it keeps my hair out of my face. Unfortunately, I even made this mistake during the Chicago Marathon where it turned out to be 80+ degrees on race day. As nice as the shade felt on my face, it trapped a ton of excess heat, and I ended up throwing away my hat somewhere in Chinatown. These days, I swear by either a visor, or a lightweight headband like these Bondi Bands, which are amazing.
3 // Consider running earlier – or later.
Since I work from home, running is (luckily) pretty flexible for me during the day. However, that’s difficult during the summer months, as those are the hottest hours. When Emily and I trained last summer, we did our long runs early in the morning. We were usually on the road running by 5 AM before those hot peak sun hours. As tempting as a few extra hours or minutes of sleep may be, you’ll not only escape the heat of the day, but you’ll also likely be done before most people even wake up! It’s a win-win.
4 // Choose light-colored (and weight) clothing.
Guys, I like black. I like alllll shades of black – black, light black, lighter black, white 😉 you name it, black and gray are my jam. However, black is not the best color to run in in the summer. Whenever possible, opt for lighter colors and lighter fabrics. Go for more sleevless cuts, and be sure to choose moisture-wicking whenever possible. These tanks from Reebok are my go-to, and Lululemon speed shorts remain my favorite.
Runners, what are some tips you use to stay cool and healthy during these hot summer months? I love adding more sanity to my repertoire!