As the heat ramps up here in NJ and the official start of summer is rapidly approaching, Runner’s High Owner Craig Segal wanted to give you some simple tips and tricks that’ll keep you running during the warm summer months!!
Tip #1 – Rock that Brim
Now I know wearing a hat might not be the most preferred look for some females out there, but wearing protection on your head will keep you shaded and cool. Getting ready for a long humid run? Dunk your hat into cold water before you take off and you’ll be sure to stay cooler than your non-hat wearing running partners.
Tip #2 – Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It isn’t important just to drink, but you have to pay attention to what you drink. Ever feel a little parched on a warm summer run? Routinely drinking coffee before you head out the door? Caffeine is a diuretic and can actually have an adverse effect in regards to hydration.
Even though drinking during the run can be somewhat of a pain, it is a necessary evil during the summer here in New Jersey, especially on your longer runs. For me, I like using a 1-bottle pack that sits on my lower back – I use this routinely during my Sunday long runs of 15+ miles. Every two miles I’ll take a sip and pass it around to my group of irresponsible training partners who seem to mock me for wearing a belt…yet never pass up the opportunity to drink from my bottle…
While drinking during the run is important, rehydrating after your run is even more important. While water is king, during these humid months I like to replenish my electrolytes with GU Brew tabs – a low calorie option that offers essential electrolytes lost in sweat. Get in the routine of preparing a post run recovery drink – from something as simple a smoothie, to carbohydrate/protein based drinks like Endurox R4. Not only will ingesting a recovery drink help in rehydrating you immediately, it will also get you feeling more prepared for the next day’s run.
Bottom line – if your pee isn’t clear or light yellow by the time you go to bed, you haven’t done your job rehydrating throughout the day. Simple as that.
Tip #3 – Hit the Trails and Lower the Bar
As many of the guys and girls that I run with can attest to, I’m a slave to my GPS watch. I need to know every mile split, lap, hill climbed, etc. That being said, in the heat of the summer you need to be okay with two things – going slower, and getting off the roads.
For starters, you can not over analyze your training runs, workouts or race performances when it is 90 degrees and 85% humidity outside. You will drive yourself crazy and it is foolish. It is okay to go slower, or compensate for the heat – it is all about the effort. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to shift around your workout schedule due to the weather conditions. There is no use in being stubborn and forcing a workout or a harder run in on a day where the conditions will only make you suffer greater and set your recovery back a few steps.
As for getting off the roads – take shelter in the trails. While it might slow you down a bit, protection from the summer sun is key. Between Holmdel Park, Thompson Park, Manasquan Reservoir and Hartshorne Woods, Monmouth County has some of the most beautiful county parks around – take advantage of them!!
Craig Segal, Co-Owner of Runner’s High-Freehold has been running since his days as a youth navigating the trails at Holmdel Park. He competed at the prep level at Holmdel High School and moved on to run for Villanova University before competing for Monmouth University as a graduate student. Since graduation, he can be found on the roads, racing anything from the 5k to the marathon. He holds a half marathon best of 1:08:20 and a marathon personal record of 2:25:09. He is admittedly a running shoe geek.