Yeah, summer is coming and around here (Southwest Missouri), it has already come in glimpses, as we’re currently in the midst of a week of 80- to 90-degree weather. Though, knowing the weather, next week we’ll be back into the 50s or 60s or something crazy. : )
Anyway, summer brings a lot of challenges, from hydration to dealing with heat and humidity. But there are two great things I really like about summer: 1) The longer daylight hours; 2) My summer “pajamas.” : )
Let’s talk about the daylight deal first. Hey face it, in summer, most people get less sleep because the daylight hours start earlier and go later, so sunrise can wake you up earlier and sunset doesn’t trigger your “Hey, it’s time to start winding down” inner alarm clock until much later too. In summer, I can be out mowing my lawn at 8 p.m. in sunlight, whereas in winter, it’s already been pitch dark for 2 or 3 hours at 8 p.m.
What does that have to do with running? Well, it may mean a simply “change” in your running routine could give you additional miles/time to run and make the transition to summer weather running easier too. With sunrise coming at 6 a.m. or earlier, but so many people “NOT” morning people, why not consider this answer. Instead of doing 6 miles (or whatever distance) in the morning, try just getting up 30 minutes earlier (instead of an hour) and getting in a 3-mile run as the sun rises AND THEN, that evening, get a 3-mile run in as the sun is setting a few times a week?
Why this? Well, although the split run isn’t quite as beneficial when it comes to endurance, there are TWO great benefits. 1) A split run fires up your metabolism twice in one day, so that can prove beneficial if you’re looking to take off some weight; 2) A split run allows you to get a “cool morning” run in and then help you adjust to the heat of summer by running half as far as you would normally run when it’s still fairly warm and muggy out in the evening (but not in the blazing sun). And as an added bonus, you’re not exposing yourself to a lot of unnecessary UV rays (stuff that causes skin cancer) by running at those times. Because I think we all know the “pain” of the first summer run when we plan to do a certain distance, but the increased heat and humidity slap us silly in short order…, but mentally and physically the heat and humidity is much easier to adjust to when you’re doing the split run approach. Give it a try for a couple of weeks and see if it doesn’t make a difference.
And what about the summer pajamas comment? Well, in the summer, I know I sleep only with thin blankets and a ceiling fan on (as I’m not big on huge air conditioning bills : ). ANYWAY, if I know I’m running in the morning, my pajamas for the night before are my running shorts and running shirt. Follow me on this…all my running shorts and shirts are made of wicking material…pulling the sweat from my body. So, why wouldn’t my running stuff make great pajamas? Well, for me, they do, and it makes getting up and getting ready a snap in the morning! No stumbling around in the dark and no excuses. : )
See what you think!
Well, hope you’re all marking out races to do this summer and fall or already in the middle of a training program!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!