Five Reasons Why Summer Running is the BEST!
We all know why running in the summertime can be a bit of a drag. For starters, it is hot. The sun is glaring down on us, big and bright, and the humidity can become unbearable. Oftentimes, especially in some areas, running outside during the summer months can feel like you are running in a greenhouse!
The heat and glare of the sun are intensified, and the air can be so thick and dense that it physically feels heavy and stuffy, and hard to breathe in. Yuck! And with the added heat and humidity comes a heck of a lot more planning and strategizing on our parts, if we want to have our best running experience and stay safe.
We have to be extra mindful of how much water and fluid intake we are getting and be diligent about timing our runs around the most intense heat of the day. Being outside during the hottest part of the day can really pose a health risk, and the threat of dehydration becomes all too real. So, more times than not, if we are going to be running outside in the summer then we have to rise early… which also means getting to bed early! So yeah, running when it is hot and stuffy can be hard. But we are here to remind you that is definitely is not all bad. In fact, running during the summer can actually be the BEST and here are five reasons why!
1) Longer Days
Summertime means longer days, and that means you have a bigger window of time in which the sun is out to get your run in. Even though it is hot and it stays hotter because the sun stays out longer, it also means that you have more time before and after work (or school or vacation days spent lounging at the pool!) to get your run in.
During the winter, when it is dark outside for longer periods of time, it can be harder and more stressful to figure out when you are going to get your scheduled run in, on top of your other obligations and tasks on your to-do list. In fact, one of the worst parts about winter is that some of us get to work before the sun is fully up and leave when it has already set and feel like we live in the dark for months at a time!
The longer summer days mean you can enjoy a quiet, still morning outside while the sun rises, before it gets too hot, and make it home (even from a long run) with plenty of time to enjoy a bowl of overnight oats, a cool shower, and your commute into the office.
2) Getting Ready is a Breeze
Because you are probably going to be getting up a bit earlier during the summer to beat the heat, you might dread the process of getting yourself ready to get out the door… and that is especially true if you are not typically a morning person. But the truth is, if you plan ahead a bit, check the weather the night before, and layout your clothes and any running fuel and accessories you might need, getting ready for a summertime run is nothing!
3) Excellent Prep for the Fall Racing Season
Maybe this is not one that you can get excited about now, but your body really will thank you for putting it through some hot, tough summer runs once fall weather rolls around with its cooler temperatures and welcomed breezes. Nothing great was ever achieved without a little hard work and elbow grease, and that is especially true for running.
Pushing your body through speed and tempo workouts in the heat and humidity of the summer might just be the last thing you want to be doing at 5 am before you head off to work in the middle of the week. But training during tough conditions will pay dividends during your racing season. You have no control over the weather, be that during your training periods or on race day. You never know what October will give you – most can count on cooler temperatures but a heatwave might just roll through. If you have been training when the weather is less than ideal, your body AND your mind will be ready for whatever race day throws at you!
4) Nature is Killing It
Trees are luscious, full, and green and the flowers are showing out. Streams, creeks, and rivers are happily rushing along and being outside is just more pleasant. There is so much to look at during the summer! This is great for you because, not only does it give you more to look at, but you can even make a game out of it – challenge yourself to spot a new flower, a new plant, a new animal each time you set out to run.
5) Summer Refueling is YUMMY!
Summer is grilling season, so fire up the grill and get creative with your next cookout. Summertime is the perfect time to gather your runner besties up for an outdoor barbecue. Cold, pasta salads are the perfect and tasty accompaniment to grilled chicken, steaks, and shrimp. And let us not forget the very BEST that summertime food has to offer – ICE CREAM! If your run has you feeling hot, sweaty, and miserable, just think of that huge double scoop waiting for you when you get back. And now you know why summertime running really is the best!