Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Training for Runners

Summer training is the most important time of the year for distance runners to build up base miles. Most of the time, depending on which region of the country you live in, this means getting through hot weather, humidity, dry heat and a lack of motivation while trying to develop endurance. Here are some tips to get you to the starting line in the fall, strong and healthy.

    • Get up early. No one wants to hear it, but this is the time of day when the weather is best. You will notice that if you can hit the trails instead of the snooze button, you’ll develop a discipline that will carry over to other healthy habits crucial to success in running, such as good nutrition and mental toughness. Another thing to remember is that getting your workout over with in the morning is great preparation for college, since many collegiate programs practice before class. At least a couple days a week, try to do your runs in the AM.
    • Hydrate. This is a non negotiable. If you don’t drink enough water and hydrate with electrolytes you will pay the price in the middle of a run or a workout. Not only can dehydration sabotage your training plan, but it can also be dangerous and result in a hospital visit.
    • Log (most of) your miles. Keeping a training log is a proven tool to help you improve your times, and at the very least is a good confidence booster and a reminder before a hard workout or a race of all the hard work you put in. But don’t fall into the trap of recording every single little detail and obsessing over everything- you could drive yourself crazy.
    • Listen to your body. If your weekly mileage goal is 30 miles a week, put in the effort to get to that number. However, be smart about what is right for you. On the days you don’t feel motivated, psych yourself up and get through the run. On the days that your calf is painfully nagging you, cut your run a little shorter. It is important to have solid mileage but it will amount to nothing if you ignore your body and injure yourself.
    • SLEEP. Summer is filled with fun things to do, but you will find yourself skipping your morning runs if every night you stay up past midnight. Most of recovery happens when you are asleep so aim to get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night. On days when you exert yourself a little extra, tack on another hour or two of sleep to get a full recovery.
    • Remember… Summer is a great time to reconnect with the sport and truly appreciate running. Make sure to give your mind a break from the stress of the school year. Remind yourself that you are far more than just an athlete, and make sure spend time doing things you love with people you love so that you can come into the season refreshed, energized and ready to run.

 

 

 

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