Category Archives: Running

7 Tips for Running in Heat and Humidity

Tips for running in heat and humidity

I may not be running right now, but I’ve heard quite a few comments from my running friends about the heat and humidity already. Doesn’t anyone remember the winter we just had? I know it was a long, cold winter and we aren’t used to it, but c’mon on! It’s only May and we are complaining about it being too warm? Sorry friends, it’s only going to get warmer from here. Let’s rejoice that we can wear less clothes and actually sweat. Soak it in and ring out that shirt! We’ll be complaining about the cold before we know it.

I do my best racing in cool weather. But regular running and training? I love summer. I don’t have to bundle up from head to toe in a million layers. I don’t have to worry about slipping on the ice. I can run at zero dark thirty and it looks like it’s the middle of the day.

But there’s no doubt, summer running is hard. It can make it feel like you need gills rather than lungs on even your easy paced runs. The warmer the weather, the harder your body has to work to keep you cool. Heart rates are higher and breathing is more rapid at your normal running pace. As your body heats up, blood is directed to the skin, to cool you off through sweating. This means less blood is available to transport oxygen to your muscles, making what usually is an easy effort, way harder.

So do you have to retreat to the climate controlled room with a treadmill once the hazy, hot and humid weather is here?  Absolutely not (unless that’s your thing).

Here are 7 tips for running in the heat and humidity to keep you cool all summer long.

1. Run early. Morning temperatures are usually the coolest during the summer. It also will give you a break from the strongest hours of sunlight. It’s also the best time to see a hazy sunrise. You know I love my sunrises!

2. Less is best. Wear as little clothing as legally possible. Also stick to light colored, loose, wicking material clothing. Now is not the time for wearing all black or wearing cotton. Please, for the love of your skin, no cotton.

3. Wear a hat or visor. This will not only protect your skin from the sun, but it will also  help to keep your face cool. Soaking the hat or visor in cold water before heading out the door can help to lower body temp and keep you cooler.

4. Slow down. Run for time and effort rather than distance and pace.

sprinkler run | happyfitmama.comIf all else fails, run through the sprinklers!

5. Start slow. A warm up prior to a run should always be done, but even more so when the temperatures are high. You want to gradually increase your heart rate rather than starting out too fast.

6. Hit the trails. When the temperatures rise, asphalt and concrete absorb heat and radiate it back into your face. Trail running usually offers shade from trees. It also forces you to slow down. Bonus if the trail has the perfect place to jump in a lake or river along the way.

7. Drink up. If you are running more than 75-90 minutes, carry a hand held water bottle or a hydration pack with you. Or stash water bottles along your intended route ahead of time if you don’t like carrying anything in your hands. Or plan your route along accessible drinking fountains.

What do you consider “hot” weather running?

What are your tips for running in the heat and humidity?

14 Things NOT to Say to an Injured Runner

things not to say to an injured runner  happyfitmama.com

Since I’m back on the injured list again, I’ve been receiving all sorts of “advice” from well meaning friends, family and random strangers. Everyone seems to be an expert when it comes to injuries. To the injured runner, it’s like finger nails on a chalkboard. I just want to scream sometimes with certain comments. There is just one thing on the runners brain – I just want to run!

Next time you are injured or come across some poor runner who is, think twice about what words of sympathy or wisdom are said. The runner is probably already very crabby from not being able to run.You definitely don’t want to make them even more angry!

There are just some things you should definitely NOT say to an injured runner.

“You should do yoga!” If you know me, you know I love yoga. But is it a substitute for running? Absolutely not.

“You should swim/bike/elliptical!” The cure for every running injury, right?

“I just had the best long run. I felt like I could run forever!” Thank you for digging the knife in my heart just a little deeper.

“Have you tried rest, ice, compression and elevation? Or stretching? Taking anti-inflammatories?” Huh. Never thought of any of those.

“Weren’t you just injured? Thanks for remembering that.

“You should really focus on strengthening your upper body now.” Because that’s really going to help my lower body injury?

“That happened to my friend/sister/neighbor. She never ran again.” If you are just looking for something to say, this is not it.

“Why don’t you find another sport?” Why don’t you find another friend?

“You needed a rest anyway.” A rest from you talking so much.

“Have you gained lots of weight from not running?” I WAS feeling good about myself today. I knew I shouldn’t have worn these pants today!

“When you run that far, you are always going to be hurt.” Is that a Golden Rule?

“It’s only running.” Said someone who obviously is NOT a runner.

“There’s always next year to run that race.” And that makes it magically all better?

“See? I told you running wasn’t good for you.” So is doing nothing. I’d rather run.

If you are injured now or in the future, it’s inevitable you will be given advice about how to get over the injury or what you should be doing until you can run again. Those kind souls really do mean well. I know everyone is just looking for something to say to make the runner feel better. But what’s the best thing to say to an injured runner?

“That totally sucks.”

I wrote a similar article for RunHaven earlier this year. A portion of it is used in this post.

What’s on your list of what NOT to say to an injured runner?

Saucony 26 Strong – Chicago

26_Strong_Logo_Badge

Here we go again!

Last year I had the honor and the privilege to be a coach for the Saucony 26 Strong program. Saucony and Competitor Group chose 13 coaches to guide 13 cadets for their first marathons. We were 26 strong women on a journey of a lifetime.

Running the Honolulu Marathon with Kailey and several of the other members of 26 Strong was unbelievable. I definitely thought it was a once in a lifetime experience. When Saucony contacted me in early April to ask if I would be a coach for this year’s program, I couldn’t believe it. Was this for real?

Honolulu Marathon mile 25 | happyfitmama.com

You never will forget your first marathon.

This year all 13 teams will be running the Chicago Marathon on October 11. It’s quite funny that my running partner in crime, Sarah, had been trying to convince me to run Chicago with her all winter long. When Saucony contacted me to ask if I would be a coach for this year’s program, of course I immediately said YES! I’ll go anywhere! And then I found out it was Chicago. Obviously, it was destiny!
To have all the teams running the same race this year, is going to be amazing. We truly will be 26 Strong.
Saucony 26 Strong | happyfitmama.com

 

Say “Hello!” to my new cadet, Marina!

My name is Marina, I am 33 years old and live in New Hampshire. I am married to my super tolerant, supportive husband, Jordan and together we have two awesome kiddos and one crazy dog, Archie (my running buddy)! I graduated from University of New Hampshire with an Exercise Science degree and currently work part-time in the Diagnostic Testing center of a hospital. I grew up watching my mom run regularly, but never began running myself until my mid to late 20’s. Running a marathon was something I had thought about, but never had the guts to try on my own. Given the opportunity to have a coach guide me through the training for a  marathon was something I could not miss out on! I am most looking forward to challenging myself and learning ways to improve my running to complete 26.2 miles!!
Marina Saucony 26 Strong Chicago  happyfitmama.com

I’m so excited to be along for Marina’s first marathon! We got to know each other about 5 years ago when we both were new mama’s trying to figure out what the hell we were doing. She’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet and is just completely real about everything. While she’s nervous about the distance and how to fit in all the miles for training, I know she will do great. She will find her strong and it will be marvelous.

I can’t wait to say the words, “Marina, you are a marathoner!”