01 May Summer of Miles? Yes, please.
By: Chris McClung
It is May, but it has felt like summer since March… typical Texas! When the temperatures surge to 90+, it is hard to stay motivated and consistent with your training during the summer months. For many who train for fall or winter races, the heat can be an easy excuse to delay your training until the cooler temps return.
Stick with it! Not only is consistent, year-round training important to achieve your goals, heat training is also scientifically-proven to boost your endurance, similar to training at high altitude.
Here are 5 tips to keep you going when the mercury rises:
1. Embrace the suck. It’s really, really hot. We all know it. Talking about it or avoiding it doesn’t do you any good. Embrace the suck and join the sufferfest. The road will require much from you, but you must pass through the crucible to achieve the reward.
2. Hydrate with electrolytes, especially when not training. Daily hydration is probably more important than within-run hydration when it comes to improving how you feel. But, it’s not just about the water. You also need electrolytes (i.e. salt) that will allow your body to absorb the water you drink (vs. flush right through). To add electrolytes to your hydration plan, use electrolyte water or products like Skratch or nuun. Personally, I do twice-daily servings of Skratch outside of my workouts in the summer to stay on top of hydration.
3. Plan a summer of miles. Consistent, easy running is the best way to establish an aerobic foundation for future training blocks. Set a target to increase your weekly mileage by 15-20% and go do it, putting one foot in front of the other for as much as you can. If you do it while not in heavy speed training, you are more likely to stay healthy and then be able to reap the benefits of all of that mileage when it counts in the fall/winter.
4. Or, mix it up! If you have the summer training doldrums, then mix it up. Train for a summer triathlon, jump on the bike a little more, try an indoor fitness class, or add yoga to your routine. Plus, give your running some variety too by mixing up the routes you run, hitting the trail, or starting/finishing at Barton Springs for a post-run plunge in the cool spring water there.
5. Join a group. Nothing breeds consistency like having accountability partners who will gently haze you if you sleep through your alarm. Austin has no shortage of options. At Rogue, we offer many different summer training options, but Gilbert’s Gazelles or Austin Fit are options too. Find a group and a coach that will help you thrive during the summer sufferfest and come out stronger on the other side!
Chris McClung is a coach and co-owner at Rogue Running and co-host of the podcast Running Rogue. Rogue begins fall half marathon and marathon training on May 6th with a kick-off event that is open to all. Join us for a trial run and to learn more about becoming a Rogue Runner!