Running in Summer: Surviving the Heat

Days are getting longer, the world is a lot greener and the temperatures are starting to rise: summer is just around the corner. I’ve heard a lot in my own community – new and old runners alike talking about how the heat is starting to affect their training schedules.

Instead of looking at the heat as a hindrance, it’s time to start looking for ways to push through and thrive. Check out a few of these tips and keep going!

1. Be Smart

Yes, summer is hot and these tips are meant to help you run in the heat. But, certain times of day are hotter than others. Look at rearranging your schedule for more early morning or evening runs – 5-10 degrees can make a huge difference!

2. Go Off-Roading

Sidewalks and streets are great. But, in the summer, they tend to radiate heat. If it’s a grueling day and the sun is shining, finding some shade can bring some big time relief. Look for a trail with some shade and mix up your training routine.

trees

3. Fuel Appropriately

The more you sweat, the more hydration you need. Note – this is not saying that hydration doesn’t matter when it’s cold out. But, when you’re exerting extra energy because of the heat, you need to hydrate appropriately. My choice? Cocogo. I’m an ambassador for this amazing product for a reason. This powdered coconut water sports drink provides electrolytes from natural sources that increase hydration and energy while decreasing fatigue, cramps and other negative effects associated with dehydration. If you haven’t tried it yet, contact me. I’d be more than happy to send you a sample! Interested in buying? Visit www.Cocogo.com and use discount code: TAKETWOBLOG for 40% off!

Cocogo Cocogo Grid

4. Lather Up

Sure, as a kid it was fun to spend hours outside soaking up the rays. As an adult runner? Sunburn is a serious side effect that should be avoided at all costs. Find a sunscreen that’s designed for sports, sprays on and lasts through sweat. I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Spray, but you find what works for you.

SPF

5. Know Your Body

Heat stroke can come on quickly, especially when running. Know the signs. If you start to cramp – you need to hydrate. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded or unusually winded, it’s time to call it. Know your body, know what’s normal, and be willing to call a workout when you need to.

6. Use Water

Water isn’t just for drinking. On especially hot days, consider using a wet towel around your neck or wetting your running tank and tossing it in the freezer for a few minutes before heading out. Cold at first, yes. However, the cooling properties it’ll provide during your workout are well worth the initial discomfort.

7. Adjust Your Workout

Think about the weather report when planning for a week – this doesn’t mean that it can happen all the time. But, when there’s a heatwave, look for ways to bring it inside, to shorten time outside and to lengthen your time spent cross training indoors. Crazy speed workouts and 10+ mile runs shouldn’t be happening in 105 degree weather unless your body is accustomed to it.

Options for indoor workouts:

  • Try out a new machine – rower, stair climber, elliptical, arch trainer and more.
  • Lift. It’s good to add strength to your routine anyway (this should be happening regularly 🙂 ) If it’s not, summer is a great time to start.
  • Circuits! Look for high intensity activities – pick 3-5 (rowing, crunches, planks, burpees, box jumps, etc), and do each for 30 seconds to one minute. Rest. Repeat (set a goal number). Check out my Instagram account for workout ideas – look up Under Armour’s #Sweataday program for daily activities to add to your back pocket…that’s where mine come from!

8. Get in the Water

Swimming is one of the best ways to mix up a summer workout routine. Just as effective (maybe even more so?) running in the water. The water adds a resistance that you can’t find on the street and the water gives your body a break from the heat. Check out details on pool running here.

9. Find a Buddy

Running with a partner is not only a great way to stay motivated, it’s also an effective way to stay safe during the heat. Watch out for each other, watch for negative signs – confusion, a lack of sweat, etc., and encourage each other to drink while running. Staying safe could depend on choosing to run with a partner.

10. Keep Someone On Alert

When you have to go at it solo, bring your phone and consider wearing a RoadID. Let someone know when you’re heading out, where you’re running and how long you’ll be.

road id

 

Running in the summer doesn’t have to be a downer or something seen as an impossible task. It can be enjoyable. It’s all about preparation. Follow the steps above and get out there!

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Vega Sport #FuelYourBetter Recovery Protein Review

I understand the importance of fueling your body right – I write about it often and look for natural options to ensure that I’m performing at my best and taking care of myself at all times.

With that in mind, I was excited to try out Vega Sport’s Recovery Protein. Given that I already use an everyday protein mix to start my day and a hydrator before, during and after workouts, the only missing piece was some recovery protein. My goal, as an endurance athlete is .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day…this gives me some room to work with.

I was first impressed with the ingredients inside the protein pack. See below. All natural with ingredients I was familiar with like pea protein, sprouted whole grain brown rice protein and alfalfa protein, I was excited to give it a try. The 25 grams of protein was also a huge plus.

Vega Sport 2

Vega Sport 3

 

As per the directions, I started by mixing the powder in water after a long workout. While it didn’t blend as well as I had hoped during round 1 (I got better with additional attempts!), the taste was pleasant. I have to admit that my first use didn’t go so smoothly, however, after trying it again I can attribute the round one issues to a long workout that I didn’t fuel properly for beforehand.

I like the smoothness and the ease of use of Vega Sport’s recovery protein and have added into my workout recovery regimen. It goes down easily, has no unpleasant aftertaste, doesn’t cause any digestive issues and seems to decrease my recovery time – always a plus! My favorite uses? Adding it to milk instead of water and incorporating it into pumpkin pie smoothies (or any smoothies for that matter, like my strawberry sunrise below!).

Green Smoothie 1

 

I definitely recommend the recovery protein for anyone looking to add a bit of an edge to their recovery program while increasing natural protein into their diets. For endurance athletes, this combination doesn’t get much better! Learn more about Fuel Your Better and see how you can make a few changes for maximum results today!

 

Note: I was given Vega Sport’s Recovery Protein as a trial. My review is honest and I don’t endorse a product unless I believe in it…but you already know that! 

Running for Rachel 2014 Race Recap

What a day for a 5k. On Sunday, April 27, close to 1000 runners gathered at Harrisburg’s City Island for the 3rd annual Running for Rachel 5k. With sunny skies and a temperature near 50 degrees, it couldn’t have been better condition-wise!

With a personal connection to the race having grown up with Rachel – read more about her story here – I was so excited to get this race going. It was also my first 5k in awhile! Having just come back from a knee injury, my speed work left a lot to be desired. But boy, for this race, I was stoked.

Here I am bright and early that morning, dressed and ready to go – sporting my Cocogo Ambassador patch, a tank and compression pants, I was set. Game on.

R4R 1

We arrived to the island around 7:30 (race start was slated for 9:00 am). Picking up my bib was simple and The weather was perfect for running around and warming up before the crowds got too intense. The portapotties were plentiful (if you’re new to racing, you’ll soon understand why this matters) and spirits were high. While the music played, we all anxiously awaited the start.

Around 8:50, I made my way to the starting line. Because this is a race with a large number of walkers, I wanted to be near the front…I had a PR in mind :). The race started and we set off across the river. As far as good times go, this course is perfect – flat, out and back, well-marked, everything a good 5K course should be. The wind wasn’t working in the favor of runners, but it wasn’t terrible either.

My favorite part of this course is the out and back feature. On the way back, I passed by many runners still setting off and encouragement was wonderful. Spectators were also lining the course, adding a little more excitement!

I crossed the finish feeling strong, but, having taken my first mile at 6:48, I’d gone out too fast. Still, It wasn’t terrible. I set a new PR: 22:23 and took 5th female overall, 2nd in my age group (congrats to the women up ahead…this was a FAST race!).

Proud at the finish:

R4R 3

Little man showing off “his” medal:

R4R 2

Put simply, this was a great race for a great cause. If you’re local and looking for an event to start training for, whether it’s your first 5k or your 100th, don’t miss out on this one. Learn more at the site: http://www.runningforrachel.myevent.com/. Looking forward to seeing you all out there next year!