As April is almost over, the warm weather is going to start and how you run is going to change. While in Boston, there have been few days above 50 degrees so far in 2011, that doesn't mean that in a few weeks, the temperature won't be consistently 70+. After a long and exceptionally brutal winter this year it's somewhat difficult to even imagine running without a hoodie, gloves, and general cold weather gear. However, just because you can't imagine it happening right now, that doesn't mean its not coming soon. Without further blathering, I present 10 summer running tips!
1) Invest in a sweatband. I tried the $20 "Sweat GUTR" and it is a total waste of money. It's just a very poor version of a $3 normal headband that I purchased at Target. The $3 one worked fine without any need to adjust ever, the $20 Sweat GUTR just doesn't work, plain and simple.
2) Think about hydration during your runs. While in the winter you can get away without drinking anything, in the summer, that can be very, very dangerous. I personally use the and it works great, although I think my Weight Vest makes it a bit easier to deal with. I put about 10 ice cubes in there and then place filtered water in the Pak. I was quite impressed that even during 90 minute runs in 85+ degree heat, there was still ice left at the end of the run. I would recommend going to a local sporting goods store though and looking at all the different types of Camelbak's available so you can see which seem right for you. Here is a link to all of the Camelbacks for runners directly from their site. Keep in mind they make these things for all different sports and you should only consider getting the ones specifically designed for running.
3) Invest in some Tough Actin' Tinactin or any other well known Athlete's foot cure. There is nothing like summer heat to bring out athlete's foot in even the most cautious of runners. Make sure to use this at the first sign of any itching on your feet. Also, make sure to follow the instructions and use it for several days/weeks after the first sign of this. If you don't you'll just keep getting it again and again.
4) Try to run early or late at night! Do anything you can not to run from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM. Keep in mind all of the weight you "lose" through excessive sweating doesn't stay lost for long. While it's kind of cool to lose 5-10 lbs in an hour of running, after you rehydrate, it'll all come back.
5) WEAR SUNSCREEN! For god sakes, just like that commencement speech turned minor-hit, the guy gives advice for what he has learned through his years. The only piece of advice he says that he knows is good for everyone is to wear sunscreen. If you've never seen the video below, you might want to check it out.
6) Under Armour t-shirts and shorts are the best at "wicking" away sweat. No one really knows what the word "wick" means, or if it even is a word, but it's the best at it. My personal experience with Under Armor is that all of their summer gear is worth the price gauging dollar amounts they charge. It really does make a difference, ESPECIALLY when you need it most on super hot days. That said, I think their winter gear, for the most part, while quality, isn't worth the price they ask for it.
7) Drink before and after your runs. While this is also something that is good advice in the winter, it's exceptionally good advice in the summer. At a minimum, drink a pint (16 oz.) of water before you run. If you don't, and if you don't have any water during a run, things can get very dangerous.
8) Wear white clothing! In case you didn't know, white clothing is "cooler" then black clothing. I'm not using the slang version of "cool" to mean "better than", I mean temperature wise.
9) If you start to feel dizzy or confused STOP RUNNING IMMEDIATELY! I know what you're thinking
Q: "What if I'm confused to whether or not I feel confused?"
A; If you are asking yourself that question, it means you're confused!
10) Make sure to drink a significant amount of water/Gatoraid/etc. when you are done. Signs of dehydration consist of short term memory loss, dizzyness, confusion, dry mouth, etc. If you are experiencing any of these issues you are either high, or dehydrated...perhaps both.
Those are my most important 10 Summer Running Tips, if you have any other good advice for everyone, or want to comment on anything I said, please do so below!
Tip O' The Day
If a waitress asks you "Do you want another diet?" after looking you up and down, before you throw your cheese fries with bacon and extra sour cream at her while screaming what a whore she is, make sure she wasn't just asking if you wanted a refill on your Diet Pepsi.