Running in the Heat

Click here for the recent Run Tucson newsletter with advice on how to run in the heat.

Seven Tips for Summer Training

1) Heat can kill — so don’t push yourself. It’s OK to call it a day. Don’t try to keep up with others, don’t do “just one more.” Step away and run another day.

2) Dress appropriately. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear sunscreen. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Bring water. For longer runs, be sure to have salty snacks and electrolytes available.

3) Modify workouts. Rather than fight the heat, use it as inspiration to try different activities such as swimming or running in the pool. Don’t have access to water? Ride a bike, or hit the gym for weights, elliptical, stairstepper, or the rowing machine.

4) Undertrain. All you need is 20-40 minutes of exercise to create a useful stress/adaptation response, so perhaps do a little bit less than you want to. Then do it again tomorrow. Continue to the end of time…

5) Don’t stress about pace. Performance degradation in heat is real, perhaps as much as 10% when the temps hitting triple digits. Slow down, don’t force yourself to run a certain pace.

6) If you must hit pace, go shorter. For example, if you’re training for a fall marathon or some other time-based goal, instead of doing 5 mile repeats at marathon pace, do 8-10 half-miles at marathon pace and get fluids in between bouts.

7) Wake up early. Get the run done before the rising sun, or at least before it’s high in the sky. (Or do the opposite: run in the evening or nighttime after the sun goes down — remember for night running, be safe and wear reflective clothing.)

In sum, don’t be afraid to shake things up this summer and embrace a training schedule that makes you safe and happy, not miserable.

Want more advice? Here is one of Tia’s sample summer training schedules for a focused runner who is doing at least 15-20 miles a week.

For a more personalized summer training plan, contact

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