5 Rules for Hot Weather Running

As the summer marches forward, we are all dealing with some hot weather running. Well – most of you are. I’m in Ireland which doesn’t seem to go above 20 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, here are some basic rules on hot weather running:

  1. Hydrate yourself 2 hours before you go out. Whenever possible, have a few glasses of water before you head out, to ensure you are sufficiently hydrated to begin.
  2. Consider a hat. Not a regular baseball cap (that will trap heat next to your skull) but a running cap made out of wicking material. The sweat will wick away from you head, and the brim will give your eyes a break.
  3. Bring water. This may seem overly obvious, but it is that important. Once the mercury rises, you can no longer get away with not bringing water with you, no matter how short the run. This is doubly important for runs longer than 1 hour. In those cases, bring an extra bottle or two, or you can….
  4. Plan hydration stops on your route. Before you head out, figure out if there are functioning public water fountains that you can fill up at. Pro tip: Starbucks (at least in Toronto, Canada) are perfectly happy to fill up your water bottle with no fuss. I do that all the time.
  5. Have a proper cool down. This means two things. First, if your body temperature is up, hop into a cool shower or grab a couple of ice cubes for your face. Bringing your temperature down successfully is important when you are done your run. Second, the need to effectively hydrate doesn’t end when your run does. If you don’t continue to hydrate with water or gatorade following your run, you will likely get headaches from the dehydration. Keep it up with a glass of water an hour for a few hours after you are done.

What are your tricks for surviving your hot weather runs? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Running!

Route Change Up

Run

As you may know from reading my posts, I’m currently running and writing in Dublin, Ireland. This means I’ve had a BIG route change up, and am happily exploring new running routes and trails.

However, when I’m home I frequently find myself running the same routes, just out of habit. I know that this route, for instance, is a great 5k loop without many stoplights, or this one is a fantastic 20k long run that flows through many different interesting neighbourhoods.

When I first started running, I used it as a way to explore my city and truly see the world around me. I still do that, but occasionally I fall in to lulls where I use the same route, day in and day out. I’m here to encourage you not to do that.

Changing up your route has several benefits, the biggest of which is avoiding running boredom. Constantly seeing new sites and navigating new terrain keeps you aware and bright, both of which are good for your psyche and your run time. On a slightly darker note, the Toronto City Police also recommend running different routes, so potential predators will not be able to track you easily. It’s a sad thing that I have to mention this, but changing your running route can increase your overall safety. Of course, when selecting a new route, make sure you are not running down dark alleys at 2am next to minimum security prisons, etc, etc, etc.

If you have a system like Nike+, Garmin or any other GPS watch, its easy to head out the door without a plan. If you don’t, take 10 minutes before your run and map out a new route on Google Maps. If you’re stumped on where to go, contact your local Running Room. They have routes of different lengths and technical skills mapped out, all of which leave from their stores of course. And while you’re at it, maybe head out with one of their free Run Clubs!

Alright, enough planning. Go Run. Go Far. Go Enjoy. And Happy Running!

(Photo Credit: R A Pyke)

Happy FRIDAY!

Happy Friday fellow Runners!

Stopped for a rest East of 3 valleys Gap Transcanada Highway

It’s Friday; wonderful, beautiful Friday. Rest day for me, so I’ll be doing, well, not a whole lot of anything. Reading, specifically my newest acquisition, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, and heading up north. If you’re not from Toronto, “up north” is the standard term for going anywhere but the big city for the weekend (seeing as anywhere due south of Toronto technically takes you across Lake Ontario into the States). In my case, I’ll be going to Wasaga Beach for some quality family time.

While I’m there, I’m planning on getting in some good trail runs in the Provincial parks. Trail running is its own kind of beast, and not one that I get to tackle often living in the concrete jungle. Trail running forces us to break our stride and pacing, and therefore typically expends more energy. Trail runners tend to be stronger runners overall, as they are more agile and have stronger cores. That said, my times tend to go up (ahem, way up if I’m being honest) when I run trails.

Pictures will follow. How are you spending your Friday run? I want to hear from you in the comments.

Happy Running!

(Photo Credit: Thank You For Visiting)

Log Off and Go Run

March 06, 2013 at 11:31AM

Another day done! Time to log off your computer and lace up.

Go for a run because it makes you happy. If you’re not happy to start, you will be once you finished.

For me, today is a steady run (tomorrow is hills — looking forward to it!). I’ll be running at a steady pace, without breaks, for the length of my run. If you are interested in other run terms, click here.

How many miles are you crushing today? What are you training for? I want to hear from you in the comments.

(Photo Credit: Arya Ziai)