Do you find yourself struggling when the heat is on? Or is running in heat your jam? If so I admire you!
Love it or hate it, chances are at some point you’re going to have some hot runs. These tips might just help you conquer your hotter runs.
Forgettabout pace Especially as it first begins to heat up, it’s going to take a little time for most of us to find our hot legs, so to speak. You’re probably going to slow down. You should, in fact, slow down.
I was thinking about just this subject on a recent run, when temps had turned suddenly warmer. The run was good . . . the pace was slow. That’s okay.
When it’s hot, especially when it’s suddenly hot, run by effort
Do whatever it takes to get out there early Obviously if you have to run later in the day, it is what it is. If you are not a fan of hot running, though, your best bet is early morning.
Lay out everything you’ll need the night before
Have a snack ready if you just can’t run fasted
Charge up the gadgets the night before
Set an alarm so you don’t oversleep
This is something I’ve dealt with a few times recently. I wanted to run, and Bandit needed a walk. Sometimes I’ll walk him first, then run, but I chose to run first this day. I came home, I had a snack, I changed, and I was out the door with Bandit.
Some runners like to sleep in their running clothes. I have never tried it; it just doesn’t sound at all comfortable to me. You never know, though, you might like it!
Cold Stuff is Your Friend Use that cooling towel. Stuff some ice cubes down your bra and under your hat. Fill a water bottle with water the night before a hot run and stick it in the freezer. Top it off with cold water the morning of your run and you’ll have cold water a lot longer than if you just put cold water in that bottle.
When you’ve finished your run, set up the next half filled water bottle in your freezer. There will be another hot run and you’ll be ready to tackle it.
Final Thoughts The weather has been downright bipolar lately. It’s in the 70s a few days, then suddenly it shoots up to 90 one day. Then falls 20 degrees as a cold front comes through. And then the highs are actually in the 50s!
My point? It takes time to get used to heat, and you’re not going to get used to it with weather like that. Just remember the first tip — run by feel, forget about pace — and I promise you you’ll have more enjoyable runs than if you cling to a training plan.
Best heat busting tips?
Are you are cold or hot weather runner or somewhere in between? (in between for me)
Would you rather run in the morning or evening on a hot day?
It was a somewhat busy week with a trip to my mom and an early long run. Very glad I got that done before Summer started to come back again! I used to run very early all the time, but over the years I’ve found that can feel tiring after a while — even though I’m up early naturally (and doing my Yoga then).
There are really only two ways for me to beat the heat though: run on the treadmill or get my butt out there early. I haven’t run on the treadmill recently . . .
Friday: Yoga (30 min), 3 miles easy with surges, Dogwalk, PB ST (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
Saturday: Yoga (30 min), 2 miles recovery, Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (60 minutes), Cardio Toning (25 min)
Sunday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk, Walk/ Easy Hike
Running Mileage: 13 (-1)
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
Tuesday Intention: keep it easy Going to see my mom is always a long & tiring day, so normally I wouldn’t run the next day. I definitely don’t usually do my long runs on Tuesdays either. It looked like the best weather so I decided to roll with it and just keep it easy. No pickups/surges just easy miles. The weather was cool at the beginning, getting a touch humid (but not hot) at the end.
Wednesday Intention: recover Of course normally I wouldn’t hike Monday, do a long run Tuesday, and then run again Wednesday. I’m trying to embrace the cooler mornings before the next heat wave and the recovery run at the same time. Even I have trouble running slowly enough for it to be a true recovery run, but it’s certainly not fast.
Friday Intention: easy — acclimate to warmer temps That was the intention. Just like my intention for this week was a cutback week. No on both counts. I set out for an easy run, and it wasn’t a hard run, but I found myself putting in surges in the last couple of miles anyway.
Saturday Intention: recover I’m getting out there earlier and earlier to beat the heat. I definitely took this run easy.
It was still somewhat cool, getting a touch humid, and for whatever reason my pace was slower. Which is not a bad thing for a recovery run.
Favorites of the week
Will we or won’t we? My mom was super excited by the fact that we could join her for her Memorial Day picnic. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t get the memo, and while the rain held off, it was far too chilly to eat outside — we are still not allowed into the dining room. So a picnic at Olana it was.
We could bring Bandit into my mom’s apartment, finally! We joined her to chat after her BBQ. My sister and BIL came too. Everyone except my BIL was maskless (BIL won’t get vaccinated). Still inching back towards normal.
A maskless catchup walk with a friend today, too.
If you celebrated Memorial Day how did you celebrate?
Have you had to adjust when you run due to the temps?
Training or just running?
ICYMI: An hour Hatha Yoga practice. I believe that you need the Yin and Yang practices. This practice will help you get strong legs. You’ll find the video here.
Coming up on Tuesday: Since it’s heating up, let’s talk about ways to conquer that heat. On Friday I’m sharing tips if you want to hike with your dog/s.
Thanks, Cocoand Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and ready to share one of my pet peeves.
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you on one run a while ago I watched a woman planting a bunch of red tulips. The next week I ran by the same home, and they were all gone — with other bushes planted in their place.
Mr. Judy has suggested she moved them to another planting bed — but why go to all that effort? ETA: it appeared she moved them to the planting bed above, but then they promptly disappeared from there, too.
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you I do not like invisible fences. They often don’t work (the dog is willing to take the shock to get at what it sees near its lawn) and it doesn’t protect the dog from being attacked by people/other animals.
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you one house in our neighborhood put in an invisible fence. I never saw the dogs out in the yard. I have seen the dogs basically eating their actual fence, and I know how expensive fences are!
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you that another house in the neighborhood put one in, and their dog was still hit and killed by a car. Now the house across the street from the house where the dog was killed, which doesn’t have a great track record with dogs, is trying one.
They had an elderly (sweet) cocker spaniel who was forever getting out of their fenced yard. Then they had a Border Collie puppy pretty much doing the same, and that dog disappeared and we never found out what happened to it.
There were no dogs for a while and now apparently they have a new (large) puppy, and they’re trying the invisible fence. Another reason I don’t like invisible fences is that the dogs can run right up to your dog while you’re walking, if it takes the shock, which is exactly what happened to me on two walks with Bandit so far.
If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . . I’d tell you we had these sorts of situations plenty of times with both Lola & Chester, and Bandit & Lola. It is not easy when there’s two of them, but much simpler one there’s one. The puppy and Bandit seemed fine, but Bandit is almost 13, and you never know when an older dog’s gonna get annoyed by a dog suddenly running up to it and getting all up in their business, even if they are both polite.
The woman came over and said they were trying to get the dog used to the invisible fence. I couldn’t see if the dog was wearing the shock collar, but it sure didn’t make a difference to this dog. This house is basically on almost any route we take with Bandit.
Ever had an invisible fence?
Ever had a run-in with dogs that have an invisible fence?
Any landscaping antics from neighbors that make you go — whaaaaaat?
Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead. — Mary Pierce
Often times things aren’t clear. We don’t always know why things happen the way they do — maybe not in the moment, and maybe not ever.
Setting goals helps me to be clear on the things I need to work on. Maybe I work on them, maybe I don’t get around to them, but they’re a compass for where I need to go.
Getting in scheduled runs Still running 3 x week. I knew I’d be too busy the first half of May to add in an extra run. Then the third week I added in a hike instead of that extra run. The final week I did manage a fourth (short) run!
Recording my runs I have veered off course here again . . . seriously, I need to start using my planner again because it helps me to keep focused.
Grade Earned: C
Dynamic Warmup I have been doing my short dynamic warmups right before a run. What I’ve stopped doing is the warm up walk. At least I’ve been consistent with the cool down walk after the run — often picking up Bandit for his walk then. The previous is what I wrote in April. It’s still true. I always seem to be in a rush to get out there.
Grade Earned: A
Foam Rolling I pretty much foam roll (or some variation of foam rolling) every morning. It helps tremendously!
Grade Earned: A++
Nutrition I was doing really well, slowly feeling more comfortable in my clothes. I don’t really feel as though I started to eat terribly, but I haven’t made as much effort to cook and we’ve eaten out a bit more, and things have started to creep up again — a lot due to too much sodium, I think. We actually didn’t have ice cream this month I think.
Grade Earned: B
Cross Training Yoga, running, a little more hiking, walking, not so much indoor cycling. I have been doing a bit more strength training.
Grade Earned: A+
May 2021 gets . . . . . . an A. I was at a 7 mile long run last month, and only made it back up to 6 miles this month. Running is going well, my body mostly feels good, and I try my best to eat healthy (with varying results).
Add in another running day (when I can). N. I kind of had a feeling this might be hard to work in, especially with travel. I added in an extra day of hiking one week, though, and that counts for me! One week had four runs.
Do some longer ST. Y/N.I did better than I did in April, so slowly building back up here, too.
Strength for Wheel Pose. Y/N. I started out strong at the beginning of the month, but petered out trying to get everything in towards the end. No time limit on this one!
Flexibility Challenge. Y/N. I seem to have a mental block on putting myself out there with this. Not quite sure why. Tired? Lack of time? More likely not feeling good enough, even though I know I can lead what I’m planning on (in my head — the planning that is).
Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I have made just a tiny bit of progress here, with things trending down just a bit — well, they were trending down but took an upswing toward the end of the month. Not quite sure why.
Which leads me to June Goals:
Add in some stationary cycling/hiking. I would definitely hike more if I could get Mr. Judy to do it more. I know it can be tiring for him though. I need something else than just running. Garmin says hiking gets me into the moderate range for intensity.
ST 3 x week. Somehow this seems challenging for me with getting in runs and lots of Yoga time. Even though I know it’s said to keep your easy days easy — in other words, don’t do strength training on days you’re running easy — it just doesn’t seem to work for me. Still working on this one! I think part of the problem is I’m really trying to get in one real rest day per week.
Strength for Wheel Pose. I am definitely not even close. Again not sure whether that’s a mental block, lack of strength, or my particular physiology. My bodyweight exercises to work towards this are great exercises for runners — so it’s a matter of balancing this with everything else, which so far I haven’t been great at.
Flexibility Challenge Practices. I need to carve out some time and actually write out some practices. I have an idea of what I want to do in my mind, so now it’s time to plan it out and get it out there.
Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.Always a goal. I just want my clothes to feel good on my body! And I don’t want to buy new clothes because I have to, only because I want to.
It was a busy but quiet week, if that makes sense. I thought it would be a cut back week but I finally added in a fourth (short) run this week. Mainly because of the cooler weather at the end of the week! Next week it’ll be a juggling act to get in three, I think, so it’ll be my cutback week.
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Monday Intention: recover Is it wrong that my recovery run was slightly faster than my long run and also just slightly negative splits? I blame the lovely weather. A cold front had come from the afternoon before, I didn’t have to hustle to get out early, and it was perfect running weather.
Wednesday Intention: try to add just a little speed I was a bit apprehensive about this run, suddenly Summer made a brief appearance again, but there was a lovely breeze by the river and the bugs were AWOL. The middle mile was rather slow, accommodating the still warm temps (about 70 at the beginning), but I decided to do pickups during the last mile, which just kinda turned into run a bit faster as long as I felt like it. Which resulted in a much faster pace for the last mile than expected.
Sadly I forgot my phone at home so no photo. It’s such a lovely spot. The trail is very short, but fine for 3 miles. I share this quick sketch I did after the run — journaling and doing a quick sketch in my journal has become a favorite way to relax after a run. Now that it’s getting warmer, though, and buggier, it’s not always quite so enjoyable.
Friday Intention: distance + speed I have been to this bike path, and fairly recently, but I guess I’ve always gone the other way. Suddenly one way the benches have multiplied! On mile 3 and mile 6 I decided to do intervals within intervals — so sort of a fartlek in my run/walk intervals. Mile 6 was actually the fastest mile.
The weather had dropped 40F (from 90 to 50) since Wednesday, so no reason to get out there early — and it did make for some lovely running weather.
Favorites of the week
I got together for a walk with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while (working on trying to meet up with a couple of other friends!). Speaking of parks changing, we went to a park I hadn’t been to in a long time (because it’s usually fairly crowded). My how that one has changed! No photos, we were too busy chatting.
We did not wear masks. We are slowly inching our way back to normal. Mr. Judy had mentioned that he was ready to eat indoors, I wasn’t so sure, but when we decided to get some restaurant food on Friday, he decided he didn’t want to do that after all. I just hate all the extra plastic that goes along with getting takeout!
Have your parks been upgraded during the Pandemic?
Enjoying the maskless freedom?
Anything fun going on this weekend?
ICYMI: Do you always run out the house feeling scattered and unfocused? This quick 10 minute, guided meditation can change all that. It will help you get in touch with all your Chakras, too. You’ll find the video here.
Coming up on Tuesday: It’s time to wrap up May. On Friday I’ll be sipping some hot chocolate and catching up with what’s going on in your world — and mine.
Do you find it difficult to travel again after a long time with travel? This period was one of the longest time with absolutely no travel in my entire life. Some of it due to the Pandemic, and some of it due to helping out with my Dad in the last few months of his life. It was the perfect storm, unfortunately!
I runfess . . . I had some trouble tracking down my travel stuff when packing for our trip to Long Island. There was a time I was half living at my parents, and I pretty much had things down to a science. It’s been 2+ years since I had to use various packing cubes, etc. Not to mention reorganizing a lot of my space in that time!
I runfess . . . I brought running shoes and clothes with me to Long Island. I never felt like running. Plus it warmed up much more than they predicted that last day we were there, and I would have been very warm in the clothes I brought. We did plenty of walking.
I runfess . . . You might get a laugh from this: I took my largest, expendable suitcase with me, although I did not have to expand it. Technically it fits in an overhead, but the long way. Mr. Judy couldn’t understand why. He was like: seriously? Yes!
The weather was cold to warming, which required a couple of sweaters. I dragged a pair of boots with me (although these ultimately didn’t go in the suitcase) because, burial (and maybe rain, although thankfully it ended before the burial). Lastly I packed running shoes and clothes — which, of course, I ended up not wearing — hat, sunglasses — you know that stuff is bulky!
Again, #sorrynotsorry. We were driving. Why not bring what I needed? I also brought a travel Yoga mat and Yoga blocks, by the way, which I used every day.
I runfess . . . Running has been going well lately. I still have no real goals, I don’t really push myself all that much, but for much of the Spring it was a struggle. I really do blame the COVID vaccines! For a while the cooler weather was great for running, but even as it’s warmed up, it’s still been going pretty well.
I runfess . . . My Garmin is at it again. In a run last week, when I went to check my steps after my run, my watch told me to turn on tracking to show that activity. I know I did not turn it off, because it was tracking steps just fine before I left the house. After my 3 mile run and a half mile cool down walk it showed me something like 755 steps.
For some mysterious reason my Garmin decided it didn’t need to track my steps from that run and walk. It was the first, and so far last, time this has happened.
Have you had trouble finding things you haven’t used since the Pandemic began?
Who doesn’t want to recover quickly so they can have a great next run? It should come as no surprise to people that read this blog for a while that I’m all about taking care of my body so that I can recover quickly. I have a secret weapon for that, too.
G is for Garmin I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3. Before that I had the original Garmin Vivoactive. I replaced the Vivoactive after about 4 years because a) it was acting a bit wonky and b) I really, really wanted the HR monitor function — which was not built into the original version.
I like that I am not switching back and forth between a regular watch and a Garmin. Because it tracks my sleep, my steps, my floors, my resting heart rate, my stress levels, and so much more — I wear my Garmin Vivoactive 3 24/7. I may have to remember to charge it before a run, but I pretty much always know where it is.
Some of those features are incredibly useful to me: they help me figure out whether or not I should push a run off to another day, or maybe just do an easier run rather than a planned harder workout. Here are the things I check frequently.
V02 MAX I know that the V02 MAX reported by my Garmin is not extremely accurate, but I’ve found over time it’s pretty consistent. Sure it moves around a point here, a point there, but it usually stays in the same relatively narrow range.
After my COVID vaccines I was struggling with my runs and my energy levels. Sure enough, my V02 MAX had fallen lower than my normal range. It took a while before it settled back into its normal range and my runs slowly started to get better.
Stress Garmin uses HRV (heart rate variability) to give you a number for how stressed your body is feeling. You may not feel stressed, by your heart doesn’t lie.
I actually find it kind of fascinating. In general my Stress metric is usually in the low range, but I could see it jump up after my COVID vaccines, for instance. I also know that if I see it jump up, it’s another good indicator it’s not time for a hard run (and maybe not any run at all).
RHR (resting heart rate) Very similar to the Stress metric. If you see this jump up more than 5 points, it’s a good indicator something’s brewing. Although I’m not quite sure of the algorithm Garmin uses, because they do adjust it down sometimes the next day, so I’ve learned to take this one with a grain of salt.
Yes, my RHR jumped up almost 10 points after both vaccines, too. If I see it move up more than 5 points, again, it’s time to either readjust my run or my schedule.
I actually don’t track my heart rate while I run anymore, mostly just running by feel, and for the most part, it’s pretty consistent.
Final Thoughts A lot of people could care less about these metrics, I know. I sync my Garmin with the app each morning (I believe that helps me to get a signal more quickly), so it’s just a matter of glancing at the info that’s already recorded. There are times I don’t have to look at that to know that it’s not a good idea for me to run hard, or run at all.
There are other times, though, that I don’t feel bad, yet the data says something is brewing. How many times have you felt fine until you didn’t? Tracking these three simple things (if that’s available to you) might help you clue in to fact that you’re not recovering well, for whatever reason, and you can adjust accordingly.
I am not a slave to the numbers, either, but I just find that it’s good information for me, and it’s readily available to me. I like not having to wear a fitness tracker and a GPS watch!
What’s a signal to you that you’ve recovered well?
Do you ever feel fine and then suddenly get sick?
Are you good about adjusting your running due to how you feel?
Last week we kinda went from almost Winter to Spring, but I could see looking ahead that we were rapidly moving into Summer. Which we did. Suddenly I was running earlier and earlier and it was getting warmer and warmer.
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Just another bunny
Monday Intention: take it up a notch Animals: 30 Robins, 1 Large Rabbit (who was still there when we walked Bandit) I may often miss a Monday, but I also enjoy running on Monday because that leaves me options if the week goes sideways. I did have an early Webinar to catch, so I had to get out there early, so that Bandit could also be walked before the temps rose.
I wasn’t really feeling strides, so I did my hill repeats where I run up the short hill, over to the longer hill (which is also an incline), down the longer hill, and back over to the shorter hill — repeat as desired. Still riding the good running wave.
Thursday Intention: EASY
Animals: 50 Robins; a variety of squirrels, chipmunks, and other birds; 1 rabbit Things are heating up quickly here (hence the subject of this post). With two harder workouts at the beginning of the week, I wanted to make sure I just spent some time running. I also got out much earlier as Mr. Judy wouldn’t be home, and Bandit needed to be walked before it heated up too much.
I was really shocked to see that this run was negative splits. Slow negative splits, but negative nonetheless. Hello, Summer Running!
Sunday Intention: steady & easy
Animals seen: plenty, but I wasn’t counting today; although apparently this is where all the cool bunnies (and chipmunks) hang out Thank God for cloud cover and starting early. It had warmed up considerably by the end of this run. I had 6 miles in mind, but I wasn’t married to it — but because I went steady and easy, 6 miles were totally doable.
At the beginning there was what seemed to be an entire family of both chipmunks and rabbits on the bike path, and yes, plenty of robins, too. What wasn’t there? A bear. One had been sighted recently on the bike path, but not really that close to us. I kept alert; you never know.
The really odd thing is that before I heard about that, I’d had a dream about bears, and one I saw somewhere I often run, although when I woke up I couldn’t quite remember where that had been. I told Mr. Judy about it, because I very rarely remember my dreams, so I have proof!
Favorites of the week
I was surprised when Mr. Judy agreed to an impromptu trip up to Lake George to hike on Tuesday — so also hadn’t had time to properly research it. The first hike went very well, and despite the fairly full parking lot, we only saw one person on the trails (and that was as we were heading back to the car). No doubt most people were tackling the longer hikes there. It was nice to have the views of the lake all to ourselves.
We had passed a preserve on the way, and decided to stop there and check out a trail on the way back. Even though that trail was relatively short, it was much steeper. Plus Mr. Judy was definitely getting a bit hangry (he also has a sometimes angry hip). We’d gone less than half a mile when I suggested maybe he should turn back with Bandit.
I went on about another quarter mile, but still couldn’t see the scenic overlook, and knowing they were waiting (although I ended up getting back to the car just a few minutes after they did), I decided to also turn around. Probably a good thing, my left calf was incredibly tight for a few days after despite lots of foam rolling! It’s fine now.
I’ve been doing quad stretches at the wall a few times a week for a while. Let’s just say those quads are incredibly tight! This morning they felt quite a bit looser. Not sure if the calf workout on the hike or the recent Yoga was responsible for that.
I think Mr. Judy was mollified when we finally stopped at a BBQ place he knows on the way home. Bandit got a lot of my turkey, too, so I’m sure he was happy.
Are you already acclimated to the heat, or struggling?
Are you struggling to do the things that have to be done? Fitness is going well for me, but I seem to have lost my motivation to do some of the things that need to be done (cook, clean, even work up Yoga practices)
How’s your running/fitness going?
ICYMI: We have arrived at your Crown Chakra. You guys, I personally loved this practice. I felt so opened up (in a good way) afterwards! I do have a warning though — I can’t see you to guide you through shoulderstand, and even though it’s modified, be careful if you choose to do it. A good alternative is plain ole legs up the wall. You’ll find the video here.
Coming up on Tuesday: I’m revealing one of my secret weapons that helps me choose whether or not it’s a good day to run. On Friday I’ll join you all to get a few things off my chest at the Runfessional.
You may have been #runningallthemiles during the Pandemic, but if you haven’t, you might be a little rusty on what to do after a long run — or race (still haven’t raced, not looking to anytime soon actually).
This post is a little reminder to myself — maybe something will resonate with you, too.
1: Move! It’s really tempting to go home and veg on the couch all day after a harder/longer run or race. I have been guilty of this! You will recover better (be ready to run sooner rather than later without feeling wiped out) if you keep moving not just immediately after your run, but throughout the rest of the day, too.
Put your legs up the wall, too, before you go to bed. Seriously, I mean that literally! Very soothing to tired legs.
2: Stretch while you’re warm Warm muscles stretch easier. Which is part of why you want dynamic stretching before a run, but static holds can be okay post run.
3: Hydrate You will lose hydration when you run long or race. You can even weigh yourself before & after to see how much, although I admit I’ve never done this. I keep thinking I really should, but then I never remember to.
Just like you need to refuel, you need to rehydrate. You won’t feel quite so tired if you start hydrating as soon as possible. If alcohol post run/race is your thing, just remember you might want to alternate with good ole water. Alcohol doesn’t really count as rehydration, no matter how good it may taste (to some).
4: Have a snack You will have burned through your glycogen (carb) stores most likely. Want to recover quickly and be ready for that next run? Have a snack. Think more protein than carbs, but obviously you need some carbs, too.
I like either a small protein bar — or a smoothie. If you have no desire to eat post race, which isn’t uncommon, you may be able to tolerate a smoothie. Add some fruit and greek yogurt or protein powder (greens will help too — start with just a bit and you won’t taste it).
5: Compression Maybe you race in compression socks. If you don’t, wearing some post race is a great way to get some blood to your legs. If you have those Normatec boots (or something similar) — lucky you! Even better!
Final Thoughts It really doesn’t take much time to do these five things. They will start you on the road to recovery quickly, and the next run should feel a lot better.
Some runners have been able to continue to race during the Pandemic, or at least in the last few months. Some haven’t, and some have chosen not to. I think a lot of us are/were rusty when it comes to training and racing.
Here’s a little reminder of some of the ABCs of running & racing
A is for Attitude A lot of runners have just been running — or maybe not running as much as they used to. Maybe you’ve let go of some of the things you did when you were “seriously” training to run/race.
Maybe you’ve lost a little running fitness, and maybe that’s frustrating to you.
Maybe you haven’t had to fuel for anything and you either forget to do it or the things that worked no longer work. It’s almost like you’re beginning over again!
Where ever you are, the most important thing you can bring on your run is your attitude. It can make or break your run/race!
B is for Balance If you’re looking to start training again, don’t forget that your runs shouldn’t all be hard. Or all the same pace. Or distance!
You want a balance of speed, or distance, and most importantly — truly easy runs.
A little balance work wouldn’t hurt, either.
C is for Cross Training All running all the time is the reason at least 70% of runners will experience an injury this year. Running is a very forward motion. It’s a repetitive motion.
Get on your bike, get in the pool, heck hula hoop if you enjoy it (it’ll work that all important Core, which could also be what C is all about).
D is for Distance One run a week — even if you’re only training for a 5k — should be longer than the others.
Don’t go from 3 miles to 6 all in one jump, though, unless you’re a really experienced runner. Keep in mind the 10% rule: don’t increase your runs by more than 10% per week.
D can also stand for Don’t go out too fast!
E is for Elevation Some runners embrace the hills and other runners do their best to avoid them at all costs. If you live in a flat area, you probably don’t have to worry about hills unless you’re going out of state to run/race. Hills will still make you stronger, though.
If you know your race will be hilly, it’s best to train on some hills maybe once a week. Otherwise your body could be angry with you during/after your race.
No matter what, hills will make you a stronger runner.
F is for Fun No matter what, running should be fun — at least the majority of the time. Some runs are gonna suck, let’s be honest, but they make you a stronger runner — physically and mentally.
The temptation might be to be very dedicated and serious about your training if you haven’t raced in a year (maybe longer). Nothing wrong with that! Unless it leads you to burn out and running becomes a chore.
If that happens, ditch the plan (if there is one) for a week. Heck, take a week off running completely! I promise you you’re not going to lose a lot of fitness in one week. You might just fall in love with running all over again after a break.
Final Thoughts It has been so long since I’ve raced in real life, I have no doubt when I do, I’ll make a lot of rookie running mistakes. Or maybe it’s like muscle memory? It’ll just all come back on its own?
No matter what, don’t forget what F stands for — and it’s not finishing (although that’s pretty awesome too).