Beat the Heat by Embracing It!

Summer is definitely here! This week we experienced some upper 90s days and I definitely felt the heat and humidity when I went out running, so I’m joining the Friday Five Link-Up and sharing my tips to Beat the Heat. Typically my tips would include working out early or late in the day and working out indoors. This year, things are a little different. I’m training for Ironman Louisville, one of the hottest Ironman races, so instead of avoiding the heat this summer, I’m embracing it.

BUT, not without a plan!

IMG_4740I embraced this plan back in March when we escaped to Miami for Pablo’s birthday. Both in Curacao and Miami, I had complained about the heat, but thanks to Louisville, complaining about the heat is not an option! Besides, if an island girl can’t take the heat, who can?

So, if you’re like me and are training for a hot race or have a schedule that doesn’t support avoiding the heat, here are 5 ways you can still beat the heat!
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1. Heat Acclimation – The general consensus is that it takes your body up to 2 weeks to acclimate to heat. With that information in mind, adapt your training during the first 2 weeks of summer to get your body ready for the heat. For me that means, I shift my focus from increasing speed and distance to increasing tolerance to the heat. This week for example I planned my runs in the heat of the day, but shortened my long runs and modified the distances of my shorter runs, so that they are slowly increasing in distance as I acclimate to the heat. Sure it means I cut some of my runs short, but you can’t tackle too many goals at once and this week heat acclimation is more important than distance.

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Yep, I have a lunch box just for all my liquids!

2. Hydrate – In the winter I might head out without water for short runs. In the summer, my Hydrapak is my best friend. Hydration pre-, during and post-workout are all super important, especially when it’s hot! Water, coconut water, iced coffee, iced tea, sports drinks and homemade juices and smoothies, I’ve always got some form of liquid in my hand.

IMG_3788 - Version 23. Use Sunscreen – Every day at least one person tells me how tan I look and I always like the reaction I get when I say “Yep, I use SPF 50.” I’m an island girl and when I was younger my mother could not get me to wear anything higher than SPF 8. Now I won’t leave the house for a workout without slathering myself in SPF 50. I never burn anymore and I have a nice tan!

4. Wear a Hat – I used to hate running with a hat, but I love how the hat keeps your face out of the sun and keeps the sweat out of your eyes. I tried a visor, and I think that works well as the temps start rising, but the extra head coverage the hat provides is amazing! It’s totally worth training yourself to love the hat. I won’t go into detail on how I did it, but as a dorky behavior analyst, I totally had a systematic plan for increasing my tolerance to wearing a hat…all I’ll say is: it worked! I love my hat!

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5. Treat Yourself! – Last week when I went for my monthly massage, Ginger told me she had started making popsicles at home. As she told me her recipes, I started dreaming up post-workout popsicles. Yesterday my popsicle mold arrived and I cannot wait to start experimenting with recovery-popsicle recipes. Hopefully I’ll have some yummy recipes to share soon!

Are you embracing the heat this summer? Any other tips? Recipe ideas?

9 comments
  1. I will tell you what, running in Charlottesville helped, but I’ve never had to acclimate to any climate like when i was living in Jamaica. It honestly did take about 2 weeks, but it also helped me to acclimate to the climate in general.
    And it really is amazing how much sunscreen helps!

    • Yes! I now carry either 2 lunch boxes or a gigantic lunch box with me every day and I just read on Courtney’s blog (Eat, Pray, Run DC) how she freezes her camelbak and I am totally going to do that!

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