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4 Things Your Doing Wrong During Summer Training

If you take running seriously, the training never stops. Sure, there's the two-week break after the season ends, but right after that, it's all in for the next season. Since I've started becoming a more "serious" runner (as serious as high school cross country and track can get), I've braved running in the snow, ice, rain, and the summer heat.

While running in any of the elements is difficult, running in the heat might be the hardest. You have to work through hydrating enough but not too much, eating the right things before you run so you don't have tummy troubles, and not completely melting under the blazing sun. There's been runs I've almost passed out because I was so dehydrated, and I almost always get heat rashes during summer runs.

Over the past three years of running, I definitely have not figured out all the tips and tricks to make summertime training painless and thirstless. But, I have learned a few things I've been doing wrong, and maybe you've been doing these 4 things wrong too.

1. Running in the afternoon

If, at all costs, you can avoid running in the afternoon, do it. Get up early and get your run in before you get burnt by the blazing sun. At first, getting up early is hard, but I promise you, it is most definitely worth it. If you get up early (like, before 8 am), then it's much cooler and way more bearable to get a workout in. Not only will it feel better, you'll most likely be able to perform better when the temperature is more comfortable. The heat will affect your performance; this has been proven by numerous research. In fact, one study shows that the heat can decrease your speed by 9%. That 9% doesn't seem like a lot until it takes your 9 minute mile to a 9:49 mile, and your 25 minute 5k to a 27:25 5k.

Running in the morning isn't just more pleasant temperature-wise; if you get up early enough, you can watch the sunrise. And let me tell you, that is a beautiful gift from God.

2. Not drinking enough water or drinking too much before you run

I have found that staying hydrated as a runner is not as easy as "drink more water". I know I'm not the only one who has either not drank enough water and was super dehydrated on a run, or drank too much water before a run and ended up with a stomachache. And unfortunately, there's no "one-size fits all" solution for balancing how much water to drink and when to drink it. Everyone's body is different. I have a really sensitive stomach, and you might be able to handle more than I can.

During track season, my coach encouraged a few of my teammates and I to drink one water bottle (about 24 oz) every class period (so every hour and a half). I did slow down my water intake about an hour before practice so I didn't have to take bathroom breaks during practice, but even so, this worked out super well for me and kept me hydrated for almost the entire workout.

No matter how much water your body needs, please, please, please stay hydrated. The summer heat will dehydrate you like no other. I've had friends who've gotten extremely sick from the heat and have even had to go to the hospital, so please, drink enough water to stay healthy and hydrated.

3. Not pacing your runs or training overall

The heat clearly affects your body when you workout, so it is very important to adjust your training plan accordingly. Since your body gets dehydrated and fatigued faster in the warmer temperatures, it would be wise to go a bit slower and run by effort instead of splits. If you push yourself too much, there's a good chance you'll suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Take the easy days seriously and use those as opportunities to help promote recovery. You always need it, but especially during the summer heat. Listen to your body, keep working hard, but pace your progress so that in the long run, you can be as successful as possible.

4. Having unrealistic expectations about your performance

It is so easy to visualize how we want our run or workout to go, no matter how realistic that it really is. But when we expect to perform at a level we can't (yet!), it's even easier to get discouraged with our training and the level we are at. Your mindset quite possibly could be the most important aspect of your athletic performance, so stay positive! Yes, absolutely push yourself and set big goals, but don't lose your confidence when you can't reach an unattainable target.

The weather may impact your body and your training more than you anticipate, so keep that in mind and keep working hard, even if it slows you down a bit.


This summer, train hard and stay safe! Use this summer to get ahead of the competition and push yourself past your personal best so you'll be ready for this upcoming season. Comment below to let me know what your summer training goals are this year!


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