When we first moved from North Carolina to Central Florida, I vowed to give up running and become a gym rat. However my true runner couldn’t handle the indoors and soon enough I was sweating and crying through the miles. One day I saw a neighbor with a racing shirt on. The inner Stroller Warrior in me walked up to her and asked if she was a runner. Wouldn’t you know my luck she was and she had also just moved to Tampa from Reno! We struggled through the summer months together. After almost four years later, she is my sole sister and best friend. We have run 2 half marathons, 2 marathons, 2 ultra-marathons and our first ever sprint triathlon together.
Below are some helpful hints to help you run through those summer months and achieve your goals. Feel free to comment below with other hints that have helped you or questions you have. We always love to hear from you!
Be a Camel: Being hydrated is always important, but it is critical in the summer months. TMI, but your urine should be a very light yellow or clear if you are getting enough fluids (Sorry but it needs to be said). Also remember you NEED to be carrying and drinking at least 20 oz. per 5 miles that you run. Including some sort of electrolytes will also be beneficial. These include sports drinks, electrolyte pills, and tablets. Everyone is different, so much like your nutrition strategy, you will want to do some trial and error to find what works well for you. Replacing your salt and electrolytes will prevent you from getting hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a low level of sodium in the blood. Symptoms can be mild to severe. Every runner should know what hyponatremia is and should be taking steps to prevent it.
Listen to Your Mom: If your mom was like mine, you got held down poolside while she covered you in thick white sunscreen. You looked like a ghost and your friends probably laughed but skin cancer is no laughing matter. Trust me! I have already had my first basal cell carcinoma removed from my chest at the young age of 38 years old. This is not an elderly disease. Please cover yourself with at least 30 SPF sunscreen. I know it seems like you will only be out for 30-60 minutes but those minutes add up and over the entire course of the summer that is a lot of exposure. So leave that sunscreen in your car or by your running shoes and lather up on your way out.
Just Say NO to Cotton: 100% Cotton can cause a lot of chafing as it gets wet. Dri-Fit clothing (including your undies) can really help out in the increased sweating months.
Summer running can take an extra toll on your body but don't give up! You are doing great! Keep up the hard work and you will see results when it starts to cool down. Continuing to run in extreme temperatures takes some extra guts. Be proud of yourself for getting out there! and know that I’m so proud of you too!