This is the perfect time to discuss this, seeing as how summer is basically here and temps are rising. For me, hands down, I much prefer winter running. Sure, summer running is great because I get to wear shorts and a tank top to run in. But I get dehydrated faster, even if I spend all my free, non-running time sucking down water in my attempts to make sure I’m properly hydrated. Getting dehydrated faster means I have to carry more water with…or carry water at all! I don’t get all thirsty in the winter when I’m running so unless I’m running more than 10 miles when it’s cold out, I don’t take water with me. I just chug a 17 oz bottle of water before I head out the door and I’m good. In the summer, I have to have water…lots of water…with me when I run. I have a 2 liter hydration pack that I wear. I have tendonitis issues in my left elbow, so I try not to carry a water bottle larger than one of the 17 oz bottles with me when I run. So, on longer summer runs, I will wear my hydration pack AND carry a 17 oz bottle.
On top of having to carry water (or more water) on my runs during the summer, I also have to make sure I use my Body Glide as the risk of chafing greatly increases. I like to wear tank tops in the summer and not all of my tanks are tech, so they absorb my sweat like it’s going out of style. This is a recipe for chafing. Also, even my tech tanks will chafe me…so that’s not even a guarantee if I wear one of them that I won’t chafe.
With winter running, I can sleep in and basically go run at whatever time of day I want. With summer running, if I don’t want to die of heat stroke or pass out from heat exhaustion, I have to get up at like 5:30am, go do my run, get home and shower, then I can go back to sleep for an hour or two until it’s time to get up again and get ready for work. Now, just because I’m getting up at 5:30am, at least an hour before the sun comes up, does NOT mean it’s all peachy-keen chill outside. Nope. This is central Texas, folks. It’s still AT LEAST 80° outside at that time. Oh and it’s usually so humid you can cut the air with a knife. BUT! Yes, there’s a but here…there IS an actual upside to getting up at this time to run. You are not getting baked by the sun. I would much rather slog through the humidity than get baked by the summer sun.
Speaking of getting baked by the summer sun…my heart rate has a tendency to go up when I run in the hot sun. This forces me to stop and rest at least once (depending on the distance of my run, it could be like 5 or 6 times) during my run to get my heart rate to go down so I can continue on with my run. I HATE this. Let me repeat myself here, I HATE this. I hate stopping during a run no matter the reason. I hate to stop to go to the bathroom. I hate to stop for traffic lights. But I’m totally cool with those things, even though I hate them. I hate stopping to rest because it’s friggin’ hot even more. I’m not “cool” (get it?) with stopping to rest because it’s too hot out. I hate that.
With that said, heat training is an actual, real thing. It does teach your body to be more tolerant of extremes and will help you run better when temps are not so extreme because your tolerance will be up. So, you will perform better in more temperate weather conditions. The more you train in the heat, the more used to it your body becomes, so the less I’ll have to stop and rest. I just have to deal with the stopping and resting for now until my body adjusts and increases its heat tolerance.
Also, I wish I could find a 3 liter hydration pack that didn’t include a huge backpack with it and didn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money. That would help a LOT with my summer running. If anyone knows where I can get a reasonably priced 3 liter hydration pack, please let me know.