Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Warm Weather Workout Tips

Yesterday, I skipped my morning run and told myself I'd make it up in the evening.  Of course, running at 4am in June in Alberta is a far cooler temperature than running at 7pm.   Especially when the day had been extraordinarily warm (keep in mind I'm a hot weather wuss.  Give me spring or fall to summer).  As I was panting and gasping my way through the run, my face red from both the heat and the effort (and perhaps from the frustration of swatting the murderous mosquitoes), all I could think about was how I was going to need to adapt my workouts now that summer was here.  

So I called up my good friend, Mr. Google, and asked him for some advice to survive this summer.  Here's what he told me:

1) Hydrate
The first thing I realized last night was that water was no longer optional.  Usually for a 6K run, I wouldn't even think about strapping on the fuel belt.   But last night I needed it. 

2) Back off the intensity
I had hoped to keep up an under 6 min/k pace for the entire 6K (well, excluding my walk breaks) but after a couple of kilometres, I had to dial it back.  The lack of water was making me cramp and I just couldn't maintain it.  Though if I could have kept it up, I might have been attacked by fewer of those sadistic mosquitoes (really, Langdon, do we BREED them to be the size of my hand?)

3) Avoid working out during the hottest times of the day
I'm thinking my summer plan to do my shorter weekday runs over lunch at work is probably not going to happen until fall.  Even though you would think the evenings would be much cooler - they really aren't in my part of the country...not until later anyway.   To beat the heat - you can't beat getting up a bit earlier in the morning.  Plus - it gets it out of the way before those nasty mosquitoes wake up for the day...

and don't forget your sunscreen if you do happen to be restricted to a daytime workout!

4) Take your workout indoors
This one I take some issue with.   If you're a runner and you happen to own a treadmill (I don't) then I suppose it works...but if you live in Canada and you spend the winter on that treadmill -  you just want to get outside and have some I right?   I guess you just need to do what works for you.  If you want to spend your summer on the 'mill I guess that's your prerogative.  

5) Give your body time to adapt

This one was incredibly poignant for me, after slogging through a warm weather run...the human body is an incredible machine and, given time, it can adapt to the circumstances it is presented.   A couple of weeks of dialed back workouts should be enough to help you adapt before you start ramping it up again.

So, for me, it's going to mean being patient with the temperatures and remembering to strap on my fuel belt.  Weekday runs have ceased to be optional now that I am officially in marathon training.  Honestly - they should have ceased to be optional weeks ago but I've just been too tired.   I'll be heading to bed earlier (That means you need to go to bed before 10pm, Buggie - I don't care how loud you're screaming...your bedtime is 8 and mine is 8:30!) and getting up at 4am ish to hit the highway (seriously - most of my local running routes are actually highway).

Happy summer workouts to you all!!!


  1. I have been working on adapting to the heat lately. Hydrate is definitely the name of the game and allowing myself a slower pace. C'mon fall weather.

  2. Hi from a new follower and avid runner/P90Xer! Great tips and perfect timing as I get ready for my run today. Hot! Very hot!

    I'm hosting Fitness Friday blog hop beginning this week. I would love to have you join. Linking up is a great way to increase followers, readers and interest in your blog.

    Here are the details

    Life As I See It [FItness, Health and Happiness]



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