Tomorrow is the official start of summer. School is out…kids are gone…teachers are gone 🙂
This week’s theme is … Summer Gear and Tips. Tell us about your must have summer gear to get you through hot runs, long runs, and your favorite races. Running is a simple sport made more enjoyable by shirts that keep us cool and hats that keep the sun out of our faces. Share your tricks of keeping cool.
I started running in December 2007…it was cold. My first 5k was cold. Then I ran an 8k in 100degree weather. It was brutal to say the least. I was chafed, sunburnt and downright unhappy. I had two choices: don’t run in the heat or learn how to run in the heat. I chose the latter.
I depend on manythings to help get me through summer workouts but here are my top 5 recommendations:
1. Timing is everything- As much as I might not want to wake up before sunrise or go wait until the sun goes down, those are the runs/bikes in which I perform best. It’s still light out enough to be safe but dark enough to be cool out. While the humidity is still bad (it’s New Jersey…the humidity is ALWAYS bad) at least I am not contending with the hot sun on top of it.
2. Body Glide-This was the best thing I ever found when it comes to running. The idea of running without it makes me cringe. It’s entirely possible I am addicted. I used it on my underarm area and inner thighs to prevent chafing and on my feet to prevent blisters. The stuff goes on easy, isn’t sticky and lasts forever!
3. Use (the right) Sunscreen– I am pretty obsessive when it comes to sunscreen but I didn’t realize how important the right suncreen was. I was using the same sunscreen products for running as I do for everyday use. Now I know how important it is to use a sport specific sunscreen. I am a big fan of Neutrogena Ultimate Sport. I also use their Sports Face. It is clean, lightweight and doesn’t drip in my face when I sweat. It also stays on for a long period of time so even during long races I don’t get burnt.
4. Hydration- drink drink drink. Hydration is important year round, but even more important in the summer heat. Drinking before, during and after workouts is of the up-most importance. I am not a big fan of plain water (gasp!!) but I am a fan of GU mixed with water, powders mixed with water and most sports drinks. If I am running a short distance I will either hydrate well before I go out or carry a small bottle in my hand. I don’t like to carry anything too long so I use a belt when I am on long runs that holds two small bottles. For the most part, when racing, I don’t carry or wear anything to hydrate which means I depend of well run fully stocked water stations.
5. Clothes: When I first got into training for a Tri, I would go to the gym and run/bike/workout in whatever I had that looked remotely like gym clothing. Now I have clothes for running, biking, yoga, swimming, spin….it is actually quite ridiculous. Of course, you don’t have to spend a lot of money; most of my tank tops, shorts and running skirts come from target and I purchase my more expensive items like Run Ready Race shorts at RunningWarehouse.com on sale/clearance. There are items I am willing to spend more money on like wicking socks and I highly recommend them to help stay clear of blisters. My best advice would be to stay away from cotton.
There you have it folks- a little advice from a novice runner 🙂