Training

Advice From A Former Fair-Weather Runner

Instead of laying low during the summer months, here are ways to stick to a running plan.

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I used to be able to track my running with the seasons. If it was nice out (read, spring and fall), I was all about running. Then when the weather got hot, I would stop. I just couldn’t handle running in crazy heat and humidity. I’d wait until fall and then hop back on the running train until around Christmas. Then, I would stop again because who runs in the snow? Crazies, that’s who! Except…the thing about being a fair weather runner is that when you stop running for months and start back running again…it sucks. Running is a jealous mistress, and she gets really mad when you ignore her for a few months.

After experiencing this a few times, I decided I would not be a fair weather runner anymore. If you are struggling with continuing to run through the heat, here’s how I finally made the switch.

  • Take it easy. As the weather heats up, typically your pace will rise as well. Don’t expect to run as fast as you did in better weather. Fellow Women’s Running blogger Michele has some great tips about this over on her blog. Just know that you will be a bit slower. Don’t get discouraged about that.
  • Something is better than nothing. As I shared a couple of weeks ago, I’m in the middle of a streak where I run at least a mile each day. It has really gotten me out of the belief that it’s “just a mile.” A mile is a mile and it all counts. Running one mile every day all summer long won’t build your endurance but it will help you to at least remember what running feels like when you start adding distance and speed again in the fall.
  • Make it functional. For a number of my quick mile runs, I’ve made them into errand running trips. It’s about a mile to the grocery store near me and I’ve run there a few times already. I will also run to an evening meeting if it’s outside. The folks I’m meeting with are understanding of my runner “aroma.”
  • Switch it up. Are you a marathon gal? Think about doing some fun themed 5ks over the summer. There are 4th of July races, Father’s Day races, Twilight races, and so much more. Adding in some fun races can help make up for the fact that humidity is the devil.

Related: Get Ready For Summer Runs

The truth is it’s hard to stay motivated in the heat. Things like running streaks, fun 5Ks and taking it easy will help, but summer running is tough. However, the best thing about not being a fair weather runner? Enjoying well earned PRs in the fall!