I thought when I was starting Run Richmond last fall/winter that you really couldn’t pick a worse time to start a running group. I was amazed when people showed up from week one and each week since. The idea of running in the cold I assumed would keep most people away. Looking back now I dream of those cold winter months.
I have gained some weight over the last couple months. Nothing drastic and I am working on getting back to where I want to be. That weight has been my excuse for the last few weeks as to why my runs have seemed so dang difficult. It makes sense that carrying extra weight would make running harder, but I kept thinking this is crazy, I should be able to feel better than this. Saturday it finally hit me.
We are now in the hot summer period. I remember running last year through July and thinking I would never be able to complete a half marathon. Fortunately, my half marathons last year were in the fall and I did complete them and even beat my goal time in both. Heat makes a difference. Your body uses energy to keep you from overheating. That energy could be used for running in cooler months. The sweat that is keeping you “cool” is all of the hydration that you need to keep running. That hydration is “running” right out of your pores. It really is a double whammy. Not only is your body doing extra work to keep you cool, but it is doing it by using one of the main things your body needs to keep going. Running in summer is hard.
The best thing you can do for yourself is run early. If you are out and running by 7:00am the temps haven’t gotten crazy yet. If you can’t run early try to at least find some shady places to run. Even if that means running a course with more hills. The hills will zap some energy, but you can recover from them. When the sun takes your energy there is no getting it back. Finding full shade running routes isn’t easy, but I have a few that are pretty close to full shade. If you are struggling with running in the heat and need some suggestions let me know. I will share my shade.