Beat the Heat: Summer Training Tips

If you missed my announcement Monday about shutting down Noshing on Asphalt, please make sure to check it out. Thank you for all of the sweet comments, I promise I will respond to them soon.

Now onto today’s post. Summer is officially here in Mississippi. There’s no denying it anymore. Mother Nature has parked her big, hot hiney right on South Mississippi and I don’t think she’s planning on moving it until November. I went for a run Monday evening and it was 87* but had a heat index of 94*.

weather

Honestly, I really shouldn’t complain because those temps are mild compared to late July and August where it’s not abnormal for the heat index to soar into the 110* range. But I’m a big baby and hate heat so, doggonit, I’m going to complain! Give me temps in the 30-40* range any day.

This time last year I was freaking out preparing to start training for my first marathon. It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll be training for marathon #3 soon. (3 marathons in a year? I think I might be hooked…) This means another brutal summer full of trainings. Luckily, I learned some things last year so I don’t feel quite like the training novice.

Tips to Not Dying During Summer Training:

1.) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! Sorry for the repetition, but I really can’t stress this enough. During hot summer sweat sessions, you can lose anywhere from 2-5lbs just from sweating. This is bad. Your body needs fluids and electrolytes to function properly.  There are plenty of hydration options out there like Camelbaks (my favorite), hand held bottles, belts, or just old fashioned water stops.

Loooooooooove my Camelbak!

Loooooooooove my Camelbak!

2.) Replenish your electrolytes. Because you sweat so much (see #1) you are also losing valuable electrolytes that help regulate your body and muscle functions. Water is great to keep yourself hydrated but it doesn’t do anything to replenish your electrolytes. For longer runs, 10+ miles plan on consuming at least one sports drink. This can be Cytomax (my fav), NUUN, gatorade, etc. A few of my friends use salt tabs during their training runs; I’ve never tried them.

It's good to have options.  I don't care that it's neither clean nor paleo. I drink it once a week and it keeps me alive.

It’s good to have options.
I don’t care that it’s neither clean nor paleo. I drink it once a week and it keeps me alive.

3.) Fuel.  Gels are a great way to make sure you’re taking care of tip #2. There’s all sorts of different gels and chews out there (my fav are Huma and Honey Stingers) so feel free to experiment with the ones that work best for you. The amount of fuel you consume is totally up to you.

Ready to Rock-n-Roll 26.2 miles fueled by ch-ch-chia!

Love this stuff!

4.) Run early.  This is the coolest (HA!) part of the day so take advantage of it. It wasn’t abnormal for me to meet my training partners last year at 4:30am. We may or may not have looked like the running dead for the first mile.

5.) Keep it loose and light.  I’m talking clothing here. It’s tempting to wear tight tanks and shorts for optimal movement but the looser fitting clothes actually keep you much better ventilated.  Light colored clothes are preferred.

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Taken last summer. Yes I look like a dork, and yes, I’m drenched in sweat.

6.) Protect yourself.  Unless you want skin cancer when you’re 50, make sure to slather on the SPF. The higher the SPF, the better. Just make sure you get a sport version otherwise you’ll be feeling the burn from it melting off your face into your eyes. Also, wearing a visor to keep the sun directly off of your face.

7.) Slow down.  It’s ok to run slower during summer long runs. Most training plans recommend slowing your pace as much as 30 second – 1 minute per mile. It doesn’t mean that you’re turning into a turtle; it just means you’re being safe. Use your short weekday runs to do speed work.

8.) Plan your route.  Take a few minutes to plan your route before running. Try to choose shady routes, neighborhoods (hello sprinklers!)  and loops if at all possible. Loops allow you to stop at your car to refuel, stretch, etc… They can also be a godsend if you need to cut your run short because you feel off.

Which brings me to my final point:

9.) Listen to your body.  If you feel in any way ‘off’ stop immediately. It’s tempting to try to push through but you may be experiencing the first signs of heat distress. Remember, you want to get to your race alive.

So there you have it.  My tips to not dying this summer.  Don’t forget that today’s National Running Day!! I’ll be meeting my favorite running girls later tonight to log some hot and sweaty miles – what are you doing?

Question:  What tips do you have for summer training?

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MCM Training Kickoff

16 short weeks from now I will be a lean, mean, Marine Corps Marathon running machine.  Or at least that’s the goal.  In the next 111 days I’ll log a total of 430.2 miles and if that doesn’t get me ready then there’s really no hope for me.

Monday was the first official day of training and my training plan called for an easy 3 miles.  Sah-weet! This is something my running buddies and I can knock out in our sleep.  Speaking of sleep, the night before training officially started, I had a dream the world was ending.  I can’t figure out if the dream was coincidence or if my sub-conscious really believes that this training is going to be the death of me…

First training run done! I can do this – I think…
Thank you instagram for making this picture easier on the eye.

Either way, my Team Awesome girls and I met in Ocean Springs and decided to get a celebratory post-run daiquiri. (Not clean; I know.  But it was yummy. Please don’t hate me…) I really wanted to make the first day of training a positive experience and not one of “oh crap, what did I get myself into”.  The celebratory daiquiri was just what was needed! 

My gorgeous training buddies! Stacey, Karla and Lorena. We missed sharing a daiquiri with Mary, Peggy, & Donna who are also running the MCM.

I’m fortunate to be training with several awesome women and I can’t wait to run side-by-side with them in DC.  These women will be a support system for me when, not if, I hit a rough spot in training and I hope I can be equally supportive to them.   Since I’m running this marathon in memory of my brother I know there will be some rough spots both physically and emotionally; I would be fooling myself if I thought these next 16 weeks would be a piece of cake.  mmmmm…..cake….  Sorry I got side tracked.  With training in the South Mississippi heat I’m sure I’ll question my sanity at least a few times -heck who am I kidding? I’ll probably question my sanity daily- but I’m excited to see where this crazy journey takes me in the next 110 days!

P.S. I have the most amazing and supportive parents ever! (Sorry for the fuzzy picture quality.)

Just “Du” It

This past weekend I was able to check another goal off of my {Before I Procreate} list.  Yay!  #9: Race in a duathlon.  This weekend was Jackson County’s Bicentennial Duathlon in Ocean Springs and I knew I just had to take advantage.

My running buddy Lorena signed up, too, which made this race even better!

It was an “easy” duathlon made up of a 2 mile run, 2 mile kayak, and finished with another 2 mile run. 6 miles total.  Easy, right? HA! Wow, did I underestimate this duathlon.

This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

The race didn’t get started until 8:15 and the weather was a balmy 86* with 99% humidity.  Suicide weather for a runner whose not acclimated.

Ready. Set. GO!
Bonus points if you can spot Lorena and me. (It’s pretty easy…)

Pretty soon we were off on our first two miles.  This part was effortless and before I knew it I was at the staging area pushing my kayak into the ocean.  At this point I was pretty pleased with myself.  I had maintained a great pace on the 2 mile run and now I only needed to kayak two miles.

We looked like a little line of ants.

About 5 minutes into the kayaking portion, I knew I was in trouble.  It had been almost a year since I last kayaked and I apparently thought I was much better than I actually am.  I struggled with the current to keep the kayak straight and I really started to feel the heat.  I may or may not have considered swamping my kayak just to cool down…. I shouted some words of encouragement to others kayaking and I was comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only runner struggling.

I’m about 500 yards from the shore in this shot. YAY!

Finally, after almost 40 minutes I could see solid ground.  Yes! As I pulled my kayak up onto the beach I realized just how soggy I was.  I seriously felt like I had peed my pants – obviously, I was wet from the ocean; not because of incontinence – and my shoes felt like they weighed a ton.  I didn’t care.  I was so ready to get my legs moving again.  I took off and hit my running groove and coasted back to the finish line.  A volunteer was handing out cups of Gatorade and I believe I proclaimed my undying love for him; I think I may have been a bit delirious.

It took me 1:17:00 but I had finished my first duathlon (8:45 pace on the run  portion and 42 minute kayak).  I was so happy to finish and actually ended up taking 3rd in my age group.  I really want to venture into the world of triathlons so this was kind of like getting my feet wet.  I’m a big fan of baby steps.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. Also, I need to hit the gym big time to increase my upper body strength.

My pretty trophy.

What’s something you’ve been wanting to accomplish in life? Tell me in the comment section; I loving hearing people’s goals!