While this won’t benefit/affect many this time of year, here’s this Texan’s version of hot weather running/racing tips. Cause you know, it’s December 9th and there’s a heat warning for the 30K I’m about to go run. Sigh.
1. Hydrate– seems obvious, but when planning to run in warmer than normal temperatures, adjust your hydration plan accordingly. I upped my game yesterday by filling up 3 bottles at one time and making sure 1 had Nuun in it at all times. I will also be running with my Camelbak. Yes, there are plenty of aid stations on the course, but I want to make sure I’m getting enough fluids and, frankly, I suck at drinking from those race cups! Carrying my own fluids also allows me to carry my choice in electrolyte replacements and not worry about which version the course offers.
2. Adjust goals/pace– If it’s your “A” race that the heat decides to invade, I realize this might be more difficult, but running in warmer temps does affect pace. I’m fortunate in that today’s race was never an “A” goal for me. It’s the last of the marathon warm-up series so I typically approach it as a tune up race where I practice running MGP miles and nutrition strategies. Today, I’m throwing the pace goals out the window. We’re just going to run semi-comfortably and pick it up at the end of possible.
3. Bring extra socks/shoes– Again, I realize this isn’t something you want to think about if you’re trying to hit your “A” goals, but I personally LOATHE wet socks. I also sweat…A LOT. This means for longer training runs in the warmer months, I bring extra socks and change mid-run to avoid that sloshy feeling as much as possible. I’d rather take the few minutes to change socks than slip n’ slide in my shoes and get blisters. Again, I suck it up for big races, but training runs I aim for comfort.
4. Wear lighter colored hat/visor– since you lose most of your heat through your head, I’ve found wearing visors instead of hats for warmer races/runs works best for me. It allows my heat to sweat as necessary, but still provides sun protection to my face. Headsweats makes some good hats for hot days if the weather is going to be especially sunny and you need/want the protection of a hat.
5. Adjust attitude– Do I think it’s a bit ridiculous that we’re suppose to break a high temperature record and the humidity is over 90% on December 9th? Of course. But whining about it won’t change it so I’m choosing to laugh. (Someone remind me I said that on the 3rd loop of today’s race, ok?) I’m calling all the runs we’ve suffered this week character building and continuing to pray without ceasing that January 13th dawns clear and cool.
Happy Trails…or roads…