Lace Up with These Summer Running Tips
Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining, and the heat is, well, heating up. That can only mean one thing: it’s summer.
School might be out but health and fitness never go out of fashion. In fact, the next two scorching months are prime windows to get the fitness ball rolling. And what better way to start than with a run?
Summer runs are either a runner’s favorite pastime or the bane of their existence. Either way, summer runs are a phenomenal way to shake up your health journey for the better.
Here’s how you can catch your coolest stride with summer running.
The beginning of any journey is always the toughest part. Your calluses feel like mush after that first guitar lesson. You feel like you can’t move your lower body after that first leg day.
Patience is key, especially when going for a run. That first starting line expects you to be at your best, not your fastest. Be kind to yourself during those first few strides.
Picture the run's beginning as your body dusts the cobwebs of the night before or the work day. You’re shedding new skin as a result of this run, so be patient.
Easy runs are your best friend here. Start with a gentle stride and let your body naturally pick up the pace (if it wants to). Forcing the effort will only lead to you tiring yourself out or even injuring yourself.
The hard summer running will come in due time. Take the beginning to set a strong foundation, starting with a few gentle strides.
For easy runs, this writer recommends the guided runs from the Nike Run Club app.
It’s summer, and the heat will only scorch more as time goes on. Running is already a mighty test of endurance and patience. Summer running only pushes that idea to greater and literally hotter extremes.
UV rays are nothing to mess with (check out next week’s blog for more information on that) and the summer heat can feel downright unforgiving.
Bring a water bottle when you run. Whether the sun is setting or rising, the summer heat can dampen your normal stride. A nice sip of water will give you a much-needed second wind on your run.
Hydration is a critical element of running but is an absolute necessity for summer running.
Then we get to the summer heat itself. Running, especially for beginners, can be a painful endeavor. The beating sun isn’t doing you any favors, either. Running can be a fantastic physical and mental antidote. But it won’t do much if you don’t listen to your body.
Sometimes the best exercise is none at all. Let your body recover from the previous run. Recover, refuel, and wait for the sun to go down. The heat will be a little more forgiving, and the setting sun gives you the perfect running backdrop.
One of the best (and worst) kept secrets about running is that it naturally pits you into the unknown. You might’ve run through this trail dozens of times, but you haven’t run this run before. It’s a new day, full of fantastic possibilities.
Trails are the perfect site for summer running. Go on a trail at the right time of day or evening and you’ll get hit with the right amount of sunlight and some much-needed fresh air.
For our office-working readers, that literal breath of fresh air can be the deciding factor between a good day and a great one.
It’s not all (literal) sunshine and rainbows, however. The great outdoors has its fair share of dangers. If you’re running in your neighborhood trail, be weary of bugs, mosquitos, and other creepy crawlies.
Many of these bugs are harmless, so watch your step before going full speed. Also, carry a small bottle of insect repellent so it won’t bother you on your run.
Trails tend to have heavy traffic during the summer, so be aware of your surroundings. The general rule of thumb is to stay on the right side of the pavement, just like how traffic flows.
Another unofficial rule: yield for cyclists. Running into another person is bad enough, so adding a moving hunk of metal to the mix does no one any favors.
As with any form of exercise, you need to have the right attire and equipment. This is especially important for summer running. You’re bound to break a sweat, though it shouldn’t be because you’re wearing the wrong clothes.
Cotton is an absolute no-go for summer running and running in general. Cotton absorbs your sweat and sticks it to your skin, making summer running miserable.
Look for polyester and nylon shirts or tops. They are both durable, lightweight, and largely non-absorbent. Sweat-wicking fabrics are the best way to go, making your summer running plan a literal breeze.
Now that you got your summer running outfit ready (properly color-coordinated, of course), it’s time to talk footwear.
Picking the right running shoes is vital to maintaining your summer running routine. Every runner requires different kinds of shoes.
Don’t buy a pair of racing shoes for a recovery run. Likewise, the heavier, cushion-heavy shoes can derail your sprints — this is literally a matter of grams and ounces. The difference in weight is small but indeed mighty.
For beginners, it’s best to go with a brand’s flagship. Nike’s annual Pegasus line, Adidas’ Ultraboost products, and New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology all help you put your best foot forward.
Insoles are another point of focus for all runners. Your independent pharmacy may have insole products to choose from. Ask your independent pharmacist about what insole products can work best for your summer running journey.
We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to summer running. As with any kind of workout routine, the ins and outs of summer running are a complex, neverending endeavor.
What matters is you lace up and start running. Theory means little if you don’t apply it. Jumpstart your summer running journey so you can become a healthier, stronger, and even faster version of yourself.