Staying in (running) shape during a heat wave – My attempts

As the 5th day of 90 degrees and humidity blesses the streets of Boston, many of us sit here and wonder what to do with ourselves as we stare at our charged up Garmins and a clean pair of shoes.

Even the trails offer no real shelter from this heat.  The shade can only do so much.  Here’s some things I’ve come up with to keep myself from going crazy, busy while keep some form of running shape.

Last year I wrote why and how to run in 95 degrees,  But I’m a little older, a little wiser, and while my tips from last year are still good, I have a few more things to add for how and why I’m staying in running shape this summer.  90 degrees, 100 degrees, you don’t scare me!

1. Cross-train – Now I’ll be first to admit, I hate crossing training.  I love running, it’s all I want to do, most of the time.  However, summer presents a great opportunity to brush up (or learn) on swimming and biking! Two things that are highly unpleasant to do in the dead of a blizzard in sub zero temperatures.

Jamis Joplin

Aside from all the usual great benefits of just biking and swimming to begin with.  These are both great cardio workouts!  A 3 hour bike ride is 3 hours of your heart working out.  It might not be as great as running, but it’s the closest thing I found that’s still outside.

And swimming! I still suck at it, but there’s something quite blissful about being in a pool of water, after being outside in the heat.  Even if the said pool is of questionable hygiene at your local Y.

P.S. Please wear a helmet when you bike (for your safety) and a swim cap (for my safety) in public pools because seeing hairballs the size of rodents isn’t pleasant.

2. Run early or late – As much as I hate waking up early, I find that here, the mornings are more pleasant than the evenings when it can take until complete darkness for the temperature to cool off.

3. Join a gym – I’m blessed with treadmills at work but I also have a Y membership that I use for swimming and running on weekends when I just don’t want to be in the sun. I actually freeze my membership in the winter (when it’s packed with all the New Year resolution people) and unfreeze in April.  There’s plenty of gyms out there that only cost $10 – $20 and they may not have towel service or classes, but usually they have a semi working treadmill and an AC and quite frankly that’s good enough for me.

4. Treadmill for shorter distance – Tied to joining a gym and/or buying a treadmill for indoor running.  While, I rather kill myself with a butter knife than do a 20 miler on a treadmill again, they do have some benefits.  They’re perfect for harnessing some speed workouts for a new 5K or 10K PR without ever having to drag your sweat dripped bum to the track.

5. Acclimate into the heat – Run slower, fewer miles at first.  You can’t go from running 3 hour 22 milers in 50 degrees to 3 hour 22 milers in 90 degrees.  You need to start slow and sadly with each summer, you need to do it again.  Start with 5 milers and work your way up.  You get used to it.  I can’t promise it will ever feel pleasant (unless you’re one of those freak of natures who loves 100 degree runs) but it does get easier.

Fall PR Earned in Summer

Summer heat… I’ll run through it, but that’s won’t keep me from complaining about it!

Favorite way or tip for staying in running shape over the hot summer days?

One thought on “Staying in (running) shape during a heat wave – My attempts”

  1. Love your last picture quote. That is so true. You have to sweat through the summer to PR in the fall. A lot of my runs recently have been pretty toasty. Normally I would complain, but this year the heat hasn’t really bothered me that much. Knock on wood 🙂

Your Two Cents

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.