By: Nicole Carson

With the warm weather arriving we need to be ready, both physically and mentally.  It can take our bodies about 2 weeks to adapt to the change.  In the heat, our heart rates will soar higher and breathing may be more difficult.  There are several things we can do to prepare for Summer, making both safety and success more likely…

Here’s a starter list:  hydration, acclimatizing,  effort level and performance gear (clothing).


Of course we all know that hydration is important;  but for some this comes easy, and for others it’s a major challenge.  I recommend that you schedule a drink of water just like you schedule your workout.  If you are one to wake up in the middle of the night, keep a glass of water near your bed.  When you wake up take a sip… or two.  Another tip: keep a water bottle with you during the day.   Also, during your runs, carry water (on a belt or in a drinking system);  or either know where water stops are, or go out onto your route in advance and stash water along the route.  This will help you stay hydrated, which reduces injury risk, improves performance, and helps you recover for your next workout.  And here’s a bonus for longer-distance runners:  If you train to hydrate during training, it’ll be easier to do during races.


Acclimatizing can feel frustrating at times.  Be patient, and your body will adjust.   If you are beginning a new program, try to run during the cooler parts of the day and adjust according to your fitness level and natural heat tolerance.  Also, there is the option of treadmill running.  This is helpful for when your only time of day is at peak hours of sun and heat.  I do not recommend this often since we don’t compete on a treadmill.  No matter how acclimatized you think you are, pay attention to your body and signs of dehydration, heat illness, or heat stroke.

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