Tag Archives: summer running

Slowly Coming Back+ Time to Adjust

Training rolled on last week after another round of physical therapy.  I’m definitely feeling better and can tell a difference in my gait.  A solid, positive one.  Of course, if hopping right into race shape for this Saturday’s EquiKids Cross Country 5k was that easy, none of us would be very concerned about injuries in the first place.  But it’s not.  And nature has it out for me.  It’s like coming back from an injury wasn’t bad enough, so the heat got turned on last week.

I really want to race well this weekend.  It’s one of my favorite events and I usually don’t put in a great performance on the dirt trail course.  There’s something to be said for actually practicing.  I do 95% of my running on roads since that’s where I race, except for once a year but maybe one of these times I’ll get it together.  My biggest concern, however, isn’t the race’s surface.  It’s my grumpy right glute and staying calm (easy pace) enough to not get re-injured.coming back

I did some speed work last week, keeping myself in check and staying within 30 seconds of half marathon pace for anything over 800M.  I definitely feel more out of shape than I am and don’t expect coming back to take too long.  Except that it’s 90 degrees out with 90% humidity and barely a breeze.  Talk about a double whammy!

It could be worse.  I could be 100% healthy and trying to prep for a fast 5k in rough training weather.  Luckily coming back from injury is helping me keep things slower and safer in the warmth.  Eventually I’m going to have to adjust to the summer’s heat and humidity.  It might as well be right now. 

Meredith

How do you handle coming back after an injury?

2016 Summer Series 5k

Another race recap on a Wednesday?  Yup!  This time the race wasn’t Tuesday night, however.  It was Wednesday morning.  J&A Racing’s Summer Series 5k takes place on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk at 8am Wednesday mornings all summer long.

In its inaugural year, the series is made up of 8 events.   Registration is available the morning of the race for those who are waiting to see what the usually hot and humid Virginia Beach weather might dish out for $30 or in advance online for $25.  There is garage parking at the race site with a discount for locals but the start is also easily accessible by walking, jogging or biking.  Hotels abound and are also easy to get to.

Featuring an out and back course from 31st Street on the boardwalk, the Summer Series 5k is a great opportunity to see how your training is going.  It’s very flat with at least one direction providing a tailwind.  There’s a water stop and cheerleading at the halfway summer series 5kpoint with a nice wide coned off u-turn zone.  Here Team FitNice is having some fun at the turnaround with Ryan from J&A.  Erin in the lead, Heather and I picking up the back half with smiles on our faces.  Boardwalk races can get crowded with people but they also usually take place on the weekend.  Since this one is during the week, there’s much less traffic out there and there’s plenty of room to run.

Swag includes a beach towel, a massive medal, bananas, bottled waters and eucalyptus ice summer series 5kwater soaked towels across the finish line.  The back of your race number also features discounts to three tasty local restaurants for your post-race refueling pleasure.

Taking part in one of the Summer Series 5k events is a must do for those runners who visit between June and August.  It’s a fabulous way to kick off the morning while enjoying the boardwalk before it gets too crowded.

Meredith

Do you race on vacation?  During the summer at all?

Summer Half Race Week

It’s my Summer Half Race Week and I have no idea what’s coming my way.  Training has been going well but I’m only in my base phase so I haven’t logged many race pace miles.  Definitely not anything over five in a row.  While I won’t be looking to PR or even come close, I am summer halfexpecting to out do last years summer half, Rock n Roll Chicago, which wasn’t pretty.  The weather was warm and humid, the course threw me a big curve towards the end and I hadn’t tapered at all.

That’s how I know my 2016 Summer Half will be different.  It’s off to Minnesota for the Red, White and Boom Half Marathon in Minneapolis with a better attitude on hopefully fresher legs and ‘a here goes nothing, let’s just get some miles in’ approach.  It will be state #20 and half number five for this year.  Since the race is next Monday I planned a down week for this week (25 miles) so I could kick off next week’s heavy training load with a nice long run to get a bunch of miles checked off.  That means I’ll be toeing the line after a seven day ‘taper’ and should signal a decent performance.

That is, of course, assuming the weather is friendly.  Humidity won’t serve me well and after three straight days of travel before race morning (five in the car Friday to Philly for a baseball game, five in the car Saturday home, an early flight Sunday), I hope I’ll be hydrated and rested enough to give my summer half the best I can.  No matter what, this race will be a good test of where my training is and needs to go moving towards my goal races in the fall.

Meredith

Do you have a favorite summer half marathon?  Which one and why?

Fit Friday: Summer Running Tips

Summer is here and if you’re looking to race this fall, you’re likely training through some heat, humidity and sunlight.  Summer running is serious business, especially for those looking to rock marathons or hit a PR early in the fall.  Training hard when it’s hot can have benefits when things cool back down but it can also be dangerous.  Here are five ways to stay safe while still summer runninggetting a good session in during hot summer workouts.

Stay hydrated.  Staying hydrated doesn’t mean just drinking water.  In fact, too much plain old water can become a problem sooner than you think.  That’s because when we sweat we lose plenty of salt, too.  Having a sports drink, salt tab or other form of electrolyte with you for any outdoor workout is a must.  Put water bottles out along your route or choose one with accessible fountains, sinks or friends who’ll cheer you on.

Slow down.  Your body is dealing with enough when it’s hot out.  Adding the stress of a hard track workout doesn’t help.  Don’t worry about your goal pace or how long it takes you to get there.  Run by effort when it’s warm and give your body time to adjust to the season change over a few weeks.  Then you’re clear to step up the intensity for short times as long as you feel up to it.

Dress lightly.  Have a sports bra you love but kept covered up all winter?  Show it off!  Wear as little clothing as you can get away with.  If you are going to wear an entire outfit, go for light colors and sweat wicking fabrics.  Try to remember the Body Glide, too.  A hat or visor along with sunglasses is always recommended and a good layer of sunblock put on 10 minutes before you head out can’t do anything but help.

Change your schedule.  It’s cooler in the morning and evening than it is at noon or 3pm.  Try to get your run in when there’s plenty of shade as the sun comes up or goes down.  Check out different routes at different times of day to see where you’re offered the most coverage.  You might even want to hit the trails.  If you’re schedule just can’t adjust, don’t be afraid to stay inside and tackle a treadmill workout.

Know the signs.  Pay attention to what your body tells you.  No workout is worth the risk of serious hurting yourself.  Lightheadedness, dizziness, cramping and not sweating anymore are all possible signs of a heat related injury.  Especially on low humidity, breezy days, summer running can sneak up on you and it’s even more important to be aware of what’s going on inside your body.

Meredith

How do you deal with summer running?  Do you like it or hate it?

Got Sand Running? 5 Reasons You Should

Spring has sprung and as temperatures warm up the sandy of a beach looks more and more appealing for everyone.  Runners especially can benefit from hitting the beach.  Sand running is a great tool to get faster, increase strength, see some fresh scenery or stay cool on a hot day.  There are lots of types of sand, from packed wet sand to deep fluffy sand but no matter which one you choose, there are big benefits to be had.  Here are five great reasons you shouldn’t overlook those early morning or evening hours when it isn’t too crowded to get a workout in.

Strength.  With or without shoes sand running is a good way to sand runningearn stronger ankles and feet.  The uneven surface forces your body to respond in ways it doesn’t have to on the road or track. Your core has to work harder to maintain balance and large muscle groups are given an extra challenge.  For even more ways the beach makes you stronger, check out this list.

Cadence.  The best way to get anywhere in the sand is with short, quick steps.  Practicing this higher cadence by running faster in the deep sand will help you see improvements back on the road.  Give it a try by running as fast as you can 2-3 time with rest in the sand then slide your shoes back on and repeat on the road.  Instant gains!

Stay Cool(er).  A hot summer day is hot no matter where you are but being next to the water certainly helps.  Running in the surf keeps cool water running over some of your body at all times and the ocean breeze will likewise aid in preventing overheating.  Be wary of strong winds and plan your run accordingly.

Scenery Change.  Take things easy.  You’re already working harder than you would on the road, trail, track or treadmill.  Enjoy what nature has to offer and use sand running time to have some fun.  Try remembering all of the birds you saw or stop to watch the sunrise/sunset for a minute between repeats.  Unless you live down the street from a shoreline, get the most out of each experience.

Be careful.  Make sure you have a way to stay hydrated when you’re out there on a sunny, warm day.  Take a water source with you or put a bottle at your turnaround point.  Check tide tables and run a low tide, making sure to stay even by running an out and back course on the slanted surface.  Watch for holes, shells, other beach debris and rough patches of packed sand that can cause blisters and abrasions.

Take these tips on your next trip to the beach and reap a few of these big benefits from sand running.

Meredith

Do you run on the beach?  What’s your favorite thing about sand running?

Mid-Summer Adjustments + Race Week

It’s race week and there could not have been a better time to finally find my hot weather groove.  Since I’ve made my mid-summer adjustments, I’m feeling much better about this summer adjustmentsweekend’s upcoming race, Rock n Roll Chicago.  Not only will I be traveling to a fun city, have more runner friendly weather than here in Virginia Beach and check another state off my list, I actually think I’ll enjoy myself.

This summer started of much warmed than last and I really struggled through some seriously tough workouts that shouldn’t have been.  I was pretty close to resigning myself to suffering through the next 70 days of torture when I decided to make some changes just to see if they helped.  Hey, things couldn’t get worse!

Originally I thought all of my problems were related to hydration and my higher than last year sweat rate.  I was wrong.  Not completely, hydration still plays a big part in a successful workout, but the real source of my problems (I’m pretty sure) also included food.  In cooler weather, I can eat my chia seed before a workout and not have my muscles fight the food for fluid.  This doesn’t work for me in the heat at all.  Neither does fasted running.  The extra energy I use to cool myself when it’s hot makes an easy winter fasted run twice as hard.

My most important summer adjustments are moving my daily chia intake to after my workout and making sure I eat.  Even my easy afternoon runs with Team RWB Virginia Beach requires me to eat something pretty solid about an hour beforehand.  In addition to these seasonal training changes, finding and using this calculator that advises pace decisions based on the ‘feels like’ temperature was a huge help.  It gave me a lot of reassurance that my summer adjustments aren’t a bump in the training road but a necessity that won’t hurt come fall.

I’ll be taking my summer adjustments to Chicago this weekend and instead of just fighting to finish, I’m looking forward to a successful training race.

Meredith

What kind of summer adjustments have you made this year?