Tag Archives: summer workouts

5 Reasons to Swim this Summer

Need a break from the heat of training on the road or in a hot gym?  It’s time to go for a swim!  Swimming has lots of benefits that transfer over well into other sports without a loss of fitness or increased risk of injury.  If you live near a beach, river or lake, hop in.  Natural bodies of water provide nice scenery and you might make friends with some wildlife (be sure it’s safe and you’re allowed to be there before diving in).  If you have pool access, head there, grabbing a swim cap and pair of goggles on the way.  Luckily, no matter where you swim, you’ll reap these five benefits.

Spending one hour swimming freestyle in a pool can burn tons of calories.  How many?  Up to 590 calories for a 130 pound person and close to 1,000 for someone who’s 205.  Add swimming against the current and that number can increase quite a bit.  Of course, these numbers vary based on your weight, metabolism, what stroke you’re using and how fast you’re moving but with the water to keep you cool, it beats an hour baking in the sun.

Going for a swim can help build strength.  Water provides 12-14% more resistance than air (unless you have a nasty headwind) while using 2/3 of the body’s muscles with each movement.  Because you use both sides of your body evenly to swim in a straight line it’s also a good tool to help eliminate muscle imbalances and increase flexibility.

If you’re fighting an injury getting in the water is a great way to maintain fitness while letting yourself heal completely.  Not currently injured?  Swimming can reduce your risk of injury in the future.  Because it’s low impact, spending your recovery day in the pool might be better for your bones, muscles and mind than an easy run.  Swimming helps to strengthen joints without pounding them while the horizontal position improves respiratory control and circulation, a key factor in quality healing.

When you decide to go for a swim it doesn’t have to mean staring down at a lane marker for an hour.  Lots of options are available for those who want to explore doing more than racking up the laps.  You can strap on some weights and run in the deep end, try Aqua-Zumba or aqua-aerobics, mix it up by swimming one lap using only your legs and the next only your arms.

Whether you’re swimming in the ocean with a training group or at the local gym with your neighbors, you’re bound to end up with a few swim buddies.  Triathletes, swimmers and recovering runners love to talk about their sport and that can lead to some long lasting friendships.

Skip the sunblock and go for a swim this summer.  You’ll maintain your fitness, stay injury free and avoid all heat related dangers completely.

Coach Meredith

 

Summer Training: Stay Motivated

It might be hot and humid out but motivation can still evaporate in an instant.  Summer training can be a daunting task full of challenges you don’t face in cooler weather, even if you’re inside.  In addition to the weather conditions, kids that are home from school, the beach or pool calling, vacations and family events all make summer training tough.  Stay motivated and on track the next few months with these tips for pushing through the barbeques and heat waves.

Register for a race.  A light at the end of your summer training tunnel is a great way to keep moving forward when it’s sticky outside.  Make it a fun race, a goal race or a race distance you’ve never run before and you’ll look forward to training.  For even more help with your summer training, work with a coach or join a running group.  Having a buddy or three makes every workout safer and a little more fun.

Set a goal.  While registering for a race automatically sets up a goal for your summer training, it’s not the only option.  Set a goal to walk two miles every night after dinner with your family or complete a certain number of miles by Labor day.  Having your spouse, children, parents or summer trainingroommates on board with your plan will help each workout fly by as you build memories that can last a lifetime.

Change location.  Try taking your summer training to the beach or the trails.  Exploring a new spot will make you excited to get out there and run, hike or bike your miles each day.  You might find a route you want to stick with all year!

Prepare and prevent.  More important then any summer training goal you have is staying safe.  Heat stroke and dehydration are serious health concerns when temperatures are high and humidity limits your body’s ability to cool itself.  Run on shaded paths, avoid outdoor sessions in direct sunlight, stick to early morning or evening hours when it’s cooler out.  Wear light colored clothing along with a hat or visor to reflect sunlight and protect your eyes.  Pack plenty of sunblock and water.  Freezing wet towels or packing a cooler with ice is another great way to make sure you’ll stay cool and hydrated on hot days.

Respect the weather.  The hotter and more humid it is, the less able your body is to keep you cool.  Gradually build up to your normal workout length giving your body time to adjust to the tougher conditions of summer training.  Add extra water breaks, slow your pace down and pay close attention to what your body is telling you when it’s hot out.  You can even consider keeping your hard workouts indoors.

Stay safe and on track to rock your fall event with these tips for summer training.

Coach Meredith

5 Tips to Prepare for Summer Workouts

The warmer weather is coming and it can play a big factor in your training, racing and overall fitness.  The heat, sun and humidity that come with summer workouts can be very dangerous.  Avoiding the possibilities heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are key elements of a good summer plan.  Here are five tips to help you prepare for summer workouts.

Prepare for summer workouts by checking your schedule.  As the daily high temperatures climb, it can be incredibly valuable to change your workout schedule.  If you’re working out in a gym, you can stick with whatever works best right now but if you’re training means you’re outside, hit the road or track in the early morning when it’s coolest and the sun isn’t shining directly overhead.  If mornings aren’t an option, try to find a place to put workouts in the summer workoutsevening.  The setting sun and dropping temperatures will help you stay cooler than earlier in the day.

One fun way to prepare for summer workouts is to try something new.  If you usually go for a post work run in a sunny park or a bike ride on black paved roads, try stand-up paddle boarding or a lunch hour spin class.  If you can find an alternative indoor or water based workout you enjoy, skipping the great outdoors for a day or two to stay safe won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.

Put a good hydration plan in place.  An important element of preparing for summer workouts is keeping your body full of fluids.  Staying properly hydrated can eliminate lots of risks associated with hot workouts.  Sweat rate and fluid intake is also a good way to gauge your exertion level when the heat might make it hard to tell just how difficult your run, bike or outdoor strength training session is.

Go shopping.  If your workout wardrobe is full of long sleeved tops and full length bottoms in winter warming dark colors, purchasing light colored options is a good way to prepare for summer workouts.  The light colors will reflect rather than absorb the sunlight, keeping you cooler from beginning to end.  Investing in a hydration pack can be a good addition to any equipment collection and be sure to stock up on sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

The heat and humidity that play a role in summer workouts can make it hard to tell just how much effort your expending during a session.  Prepare for this by easing into the warmer weather.  Start with comparing a workout you’re familiar with to how you feel after performing it on the first hot day.  Slowly add time to outdoor workouts and be aware that you’re working harder just because it’s hot out from the moment you begin.

Use these tips to help ward off the dangers that come with summer workouts and stay safe, healthy and fit all year long.

Coach Meredith