Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Training Here on the Gulf Coast!

Here on the Gulf Coast it is super hot during the summer. The average temperature is in the 90's (Fahrenheit). But what makes the temperatures so bad is the humidity. It makes it feel like you can't breathe at times. So there's no more running in the middle of the day. You have to get it done early in the day or when the sun is down...or you will fry. I make it a point to never run after 9AM during the summer. And most of the time that is even too hot.

Temperature at 6:15 AM last summer!

Lately I've been running around 7:30-8:00. It's hot but not too hot yet. This past weekend I ran my long run around 7AM. It was hot but not unbearable. Last summer I ran earlier...around 5AM. But there's a reason to my madness this year. I am trying to acclimate my body to the heat. Because in 3 days I will be in Disney World...where you walk and you walk and there's no shade. I'm hoping my body will be a little more used to the heat since I've been running in it.

Another big factor in summer training is the definition of the long run. Normally I probably wouldn't categorize a 5 mile run as a long run. But in these summer temperatures...5 miles is tough. That's been my long run distance the past few weeks. It will most likely remain my long run distance for a while. Because once August arrives I will go back into full training.

Although I love the longer distances, my body is always ready for a little break by the time summer arrives. Usually I have raced and raced and trained and trained. It's nice to not have a training schedule to stick by in the summer. I don't have to worry about how missing a long run will affect my training. It also gives me time to focus on other goals during the summer.

Because of no training schedule...I need something to keep me motivated to run. I don't want to lose the base mileage I've worked so hard to maintain. That's where streaking comes into play for me.

As most of you know I am participating in the Runner's World Run Streak. I had a blast doing it last year. I wasn't sure how my body would handle running every day. Would it be able to withstand the pounding? Would I finish the streak injury free? I'm pleased to say that I DID complete it last year...injury free, stronger, and faster! I debated on whether to streak this summer. I knew we would be going on vacation in the middle of the streak and I wasn't sure if I wanted to have that commitment of running every day while on vacation. But the competitiveness inside of me wouldn't let me say no to the challenge. So hopefully next week I will continue to streak while on vacation! My goal is to run at least one mile every day while I'm gone. I'm not going to worry about running my normal 3 milers and long runs next week. But I'm going to keep the streak alive!

This past weekend I did my normal summer 5 miler! It was hot but I felt great the entire run! I ran one of my normal routes. Even though I run it often I never get tired of the views on my runs!



I finished my long run with a fairly decent pace for me...an average of 10:36. I'm pretty proud of that pace in the heat! 



The main focus for me in the summer is to get out there first thing in the morning and get the run done! If I wait too long it will be too hot. Even running at night is hotter here on the Gulf Coast than in the morning. And there's no better way to start your day than with a RUN!

QOTD: Do your running goals change in the summer? What are the summer temps like where you live?

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