Make Running Fun Again

There are runners that love Summer running. That’s not me. I am highly suspicious of anyone that actually loves to run in heat & humidity — joking (sort of). If you’re with me and humidity can feel soul sucking, I want to share ways to at least make it more bearable — if not actually fun.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for 5 ways to make Summer running — actually running at any time of the year — more bearable.

1: Slow down!
I’m starting with the one tip that in my humble opinion is the most important. If you’re really pushing yourself in the heat and you’re miserable, I have to ask you why are you pushing yourself?  I have a race, you answer. Run by feel for those harder runs instead of by pace. Slow way the heck down on those easy runs.

You’re welcome

2: Walk when you feel like it
Yes, real runners do walk. Gold Medalists walk — well, anyway the gold medalist Jeff Galloway started the whole run/walk method. Using run/walk intervals can actually help to decrease the suck.

3: Bring your attention inward
I sometimes chuckle at the runners who say they love to run to be in nature, and then always have earbuds on. Hey, whatever floats your boat! Tuning into your breath and your heart can make your runs feel more joyful. With practice you will realize when it’s time to walk or ease up on the pace instead of pushing yourself until you collapse at the end of your run.

4: Throw in a *little* speed
That could be strides or a fartlek. Maybe ditch the set intervals and just run fast for a little bit. 

5: Visualize yourself running easy
I’ve bookended this post with what I feel are the most important tips. How many times do you say to people that running is 90% mental? How often do you actually work on your mental game?

Take a few minutes — even one will do! — the night before and hopefully right before your run and visualize yourself running easy, loose, with a smile on your face. Really try to feel how this would fee. It’s said your mind can’t distinguish from what you visualize and what actually happens.

Bonus Tip: Run with a slower friend
This one goes back to tip #1. If you’re a speedy runner, you may have trouble running slowly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard speedy runners who run with slower friends say “that was great. I could run forever!). As a slower runner, you’re welcome!

Final Thoughts
By now you may be asking yourself — what’s fun about any of this? Where’s the music, the podcasts, the chatter with friends? None of that is bad, but few of us run every run with friends or really run a race with friends, although sometimes it can happen.

When we stop being so hard on ourselves, and when we bring our attention inward, your running may feel easier (YMMV). Check it out and see if any of these tips makes those hot, humid, buggy miles feel easier (and hence more fun).

Check out Can You Conquer the Summer Heat (click here) for more Summer running tips – and check out the end of that post to links for even more Summer tips.

Do you enjoy Summer running? 

If you don’t, why? If you do, why?

What Summer hacks can you add?

19 thoughts on “Make Running Fun Again

  1. I do enjoy summer running.

    Mostly because of the scenery. Flowers etc. and the extra hours of daylight since I run after work mostly.

    And there are more opportunities in our area to run with others in the summer. In fact every evening.

    Your tips are valid as well if you prefer running solo.

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  2. You have heard me say this before, Summer is my 4th favorite season to run! Our humidity is oppressive. Mixing up my routine this summer w diff types of runs has helped. I do run w a friend 90% of the time and that does help so we can complain to each other 🙂

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  3. I actually enjoy summer running to a point. When the real feel is over 90, it’s miserable. I can tolerate upper 80’s but I actually like running when it’s lower 80’s. I know I’m crazy. I hate winter though so it makes up for it.

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    1. I know people who LOVE Summer running. Heat really gets to me. I really don’t want to give up my AM Yoga practice but even when I shorten it I’m still getting out there later than I want to. Which is just part of why I’m working on my mental game!

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  4. Well… I guess I just accept the heat. I kind of have to, since i live in Florida. And also with all my recent issues, i’m just happy to be running at all. A hot run is better than no run! But I agree, if someone is struggling with hot runs, your tips are great. Adjusting the pace is important and I like the idea of visualization. Great post.

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  5. I dislike Summer running because of the heat. But I know I need to get out there early. I like running in shorts and a tank top. I also know Summer running is when the bulk of training is done for a Fall race. Instead of fighting it, I go with the flow. I do walk and take it slow as well. Not every run will be great but I try to make it fun as well.

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  6. You know I love the heat (and I know most fellow runners think I’m crazy, LOL). The humidity is tough, no way to sugar coat that, but it is good training for mental toughness (when done with caution). Like you said, run by feel…there’s no need for paces that belong in better weather.

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  7. I’m at my best during winter and so I’m really enjoying my runs at the moment! I can run at any time of day, I’m faster, I don’t sweat as much, I love it! But these tips are great because most of my running (aside from these 3 brief months) are done in the heat! You’re spot on with your first point about slowing down. This is so key in summer (and not beating yourself up about slower paces.) I think this acceptance that summer running is harder helps you navigate it better.

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    1. I’m usually good in the Fall. Our Winter can last 6 months, but if I had to choose between Winter and Summer running, it would definitely be Winter. And yes, just accepting that it’s hard is half the battle for Summer!

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