Summer is DC is comparable to breathing in steam in a sauna while sweating out buckets of water (at the same time). Why? Because DC is essentially built on a swamp (ok, ok, a “marshy tidal basin”)! My husband joked the other day that he “swam past the Supreme Court” on his morning run and sometimes the air is so thick that his statement rings true.
People asked me how the heck I trained for a half marathon in winter, but honestly it was probably a whole lot easier than training through the summer for a fall marathon. My friend Amanda can let me know how that one goes! Remember, I am a novice runner too…but here are a few of my person ideas for beating the DC heat this summer:
- Drink water all day, every day. I cannot stress this enough. My liquid intake consists of two things: coffee and water. I even sleep with a water bottle next to my bed! If you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Be sure to carry a water bottle with you on your run. I am personally a fan of the Nathan’s line but lost my hand-held during our move so now I just hold my bottle. I need a new one!
- Electrolyte replenishing! My personal favorite is Nuun Hydration and all of their flavors are delsih (especially grape). You want to replenish your electrolytes without pumping yourself full of sugar (like Gatorade-type drinks do).
- For the ladies: put an ice cube or two in your sports bra. You might think I am crazy now…but you’ll love me when that ice cold water starts dripping. Worried about getting wet? Don’t! You should be covered in sweat by the time you get back any way! Men…I am not really sure what your equivalent would be, but I am open to suggestions.
- Ditch the cotton. Dress for the summer heat in lighter or moisture wicking clothing. The husband is a fan of the moisture wicking stuff and I am more of a fan of the lightweight materials – figure out what works for you. I picked up a couple of these with a TJ Maxx gift card the other day and am set for the summer. If not – you can make your own HERE. Just be forwarded about running in cotton as it soaks up sweat and becomes very heavy to run in.
- Slow your pace (for a bit). Your body needs to get used to running in the heat and so does your heart. On yesterdays run my Polar monitor kept telling me I’m “not in zone” and I laughed. Usually it tells me I am not in zone because I am running at too slow of a pace. Yesterday I was getting dangerously too high ABOVE a good pace. Was it because I was running super duper fast? Nope! It was so hot that my heart rate was just sky rocketing.
- Sprinklers are your new best friend. I live in an apartment in a fun part of DC. There are tons of water features and parks in the area and when I am on a run you can bet I stick my head in them. Nothing cools me down better!
- Protect your noggin’. Wear a hat when you run and have it double as a cooling system. Ladies, ever gone for a run and returned with a burn? Or touched the top of your head to find it hot-hot-hot? Ok, maybe that’s a brunette problem. Splash some water (from the aforementioned fountains) into your hat and keep trucking on as the cool water trickles down.
- Switch up your routine. When the sun has been scorching the pavement all day your evening runs might be a big hotter than you’re used to. Test out morning running as the sun rises!
That’s all for tonight! Just keep running 😀