It has been HOT! This summer I have been training in above average temperatures. The result? I feel exhausted! Running in humidity or higher temperatures can be draining. I can’t seem to replace fluids fast enough and even breathing this year has been suffocating at times. What do you do?
Be patient! If I do race again it will be this fall. The next month isn’t the most critical time of my training. Therefore, trying to have perfect workout weeks in this heat isn’t the most important thing to be concerned about. Every part of me feels “tired”. It’s time for me to back down in the mileage and in the intensity of my hard workouts for a couple of weeks. Runners need to understand that we all have “bad” weeks or weeks that didn’t go as we planned. Sometimes these weeks can be a result of our bodies not cooperating with what we want to accomplish because of something as simple as weather.
I always tell my runners to not get discouraged in July and August if they feel sluggish and tired. When the cooler temperatures of September come you will feel fast again. Honestly, even my recovery runs are way slower than I normally run recovery runs in. That is how bad the heat has affected my exhaustion. Another thing I have noticed is my weight is down. Again, that is normal as I have sweat out a lot of fluids over the course of the past couple of weeks and I have not been able to replace them well. My body is also burning more calories as it works harder to get me through the workouts and to keep my body cool through sweating.
Keep sipping water throughout the day! Change up your workouts. I am doing shorter intervals (speed work like 400’s) and less of the long intervals (mile repeats and higher). I am also not trying to grind through longer tempo runs and shorting those as well. I run as early in the morning as I can to avoid the heat and I run routs that go by a lot of water sprinklers. I’ll wet down my running hat or even fill up my water bottle as often as I can. Another trick is to put your water or sports drink in the freezer the night before and when you use it the next day it will melt into a nice cold refreshing beverage.
Lastly, train yourself to not think about the heat. Focus instead on something else like your cadence or your breathing. While we can’t totally avoid the “heat” of summer we can make it bearable enough to keep training. The most intense part of the summer will be over soon so don’t give up! Also, where I live those “biting flies” like deer flies have been awful. It helps if you drive to locations that are less wooded because in certain wooded areas in the countryside and in the city these little things are a major nuisance. I can’t really run my usual routes anymore until these flies disappear but again it is only for a few more weeks.
Embrace some change for awhile! See things as opportunity! Don’t let the summer heat stop you from your fitness goals!