Days are longer. The sun is stronger. Spring has sprung like the heel cushioning on a new pair of running shoes. The change in season brought you outside and spurred you to replace your old soles with fresh kicks. But, how do you maintain that enthusiasm for the great outdoors and fitness goals when the inevitable humidity and stifling summer doldrums roll in?
Sign-Up for a Summer Race.
Yes, it will be HOT. Do it anyway!
Planning to run a 5K, a 10K, a fast Mile or any race can help you carry spring’s enthusiasm into the summer and outrun the mosquitos and mid-summer moping that usually chase you back inside. Having a reason to get out of the air conditioning and outside for training will not only help you stick with a long-term exercise plan- it’s also sure to show you a whole seasonal world you’ve been missing.
Make This Summer Your Racing Summer
Sign-Up for a Local Race.
You’ll see your community through new eyes.You might realize certain streets that are seemingly barren in January have an incredible (and priceless) shady tree canopy in June. An early morning Fourth of July Race can add flare to your holiday celebrations. If you’re a night-owl, you’re in luck. Summer might be your time to set a personal record. Lots of communities give night runners an advantage in summer months by hosting evening races. Plus, post-race celebrations in the summer evening breeze? Irresistible.
Sign-Up for a Destination Race!
If you incorporate a race into your summer vacation, you’re sure to discover new perspective about your favorite vacation spot, see places you wouldn’t necessarily get to see unless on foot and meet plenty of people. You’ll likely come away with a feeling of accomplishment, and just as important, lots of information about the best places to eat and recreate while on vacation.
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Once You Sign-Up, TRAIN.
There are many tricks of the trade when it comes to training for a summer race. There are fantastic resources out there that provide good advice about running in the heat. If you plan a race mid-summer, you will have time to acclimate. Choose quick wicking light clothing. Training before dawn or at dusk can keep your training runs cooler. Make sure you pay attention to hydration and carry water with you on your runs or plan water stops. And if you run in the sun, don’t forget sunscreen.
Still, Have Doubts?
Running clubs and race sponsors know summer running conditions pose unique challenges. Race organizers take the temperatures and humidity levels into consideration when they determine race details like starting times and cut-off times, routes, where to position course marshalls, water stops, and first aid stations. If you have concerns, ask questions. Race directors and running club representatives like to talk about running and want runners to feel successful.
Race into summer? Yes, please!