Take steps to make outdoor exercise more tolerable this summer

Take steps to make outdoor exercise more tolerable this summer

Make no mistake about it: We weathered a big storm last month, and summer is back with a vengeance. Having lived and marathon trained in Houston for the last four summers in a row, I can attest to the fact that it’s still challenging to acclimate to it every year. Here are some tips to

Make no mistake about it: We weathered a big storm last month, and summer is back with a vengeance. Having lived and marathon trained in Houston for the last four summers in a row, I can attest to the fact that it’s still challenging to acclimate to it every year. Here are some tips to make running and other outdoor exercise more tolerable in the hot and humid Houston summer months.

Ditch your music and find a buddy. Humid runs are more tolerable when you’ve got a friend to commiserate and chat with, right? It took me many summers of iPod earbuds suffering death by sweat to finally ditch the music. We can all agree that safety also is important, and you’re more likely to be aware of your surroundings if you “runplug.”

Three words: Sunscreen, sunglasses and shade. Make an effort to protect your skin and you’ll be more likely to get out there. The perimeter of Rice University and the outer loop of Hermann Park (both crushed gravel paths) are both almost completely shaded places to seek relief from the sun.

Invest in a quality handheld water bottle and stick it in the freezer. If you’ve ever slogged through a workout because you were dehydrated even once, you know how miserable it can be. There’s nothing better than ice-cold water during a hot Houston summer run, so I make sure to freeze my handheld every night before a workout. It’ll melt down within a couple of miles; trust me. Nathan Sports and Amphipod have several great models.

Run shirtless. I’m a very heavy sweater in Houston summers, and the last thing I need is a sweat-soaked shirt weighing me down for several miles, especially in a race. If you’re worried about getting judged for your abs, or lack thereof, trust me: no one cares. They’re just wishing they had your guts.

Pop some electrolyte capsules. Again, if you’re a heavy sweater like I am, take measures to decrease the chances of dehydration. You can find brands such as Hammer Endurolytes, S!Caps or SaltStick at most local athletic stores.

Make the summer your “off-season.” Did you have a big fall or spring event like a marathon? There’s no better time than summer to take a step back and switch to light and easy training, such as decreased mileage and intensity in your workouts. Consider leaving your GPS device behind if you’ve got your route’s distance memorized, so as not to fret about pace.

 

By Emilia Benton

 

 

 

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