I Think I Can, I KNOW I CAN…..

I know you remember from your childhood, or possibly you still use this with your own kids, The Little Engine Who Could. “I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can……..”

Little Engine_I think I can

I know a lot of you are really stressed about the heat.   Running in the heat today, tomorrow, this weekend and basically for the rest of marathon training season summer.  Is it going to be fun?  Probably not.  Is it ideal?  Definitely not.  However, its part of the equation that will deliver you to race day in tip top shape.  The kind of tip top shape that will carry you thru 26.2 miles of whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

think you can

So wrap your head around the fact that it’s gonna be hot and sticky for a long time to come.  Wrap you head around the fact that you are going to run outside and sweat it out.  Wrap you head around the fact that you can NOT cop out and hit the dreadmill.  Running on the dreadmill in your air conditioned basement gym will not help you when its 80+ degrees on race day.  You’ve got to suck it up and run outside now, in the heat. 

Although, I’m sure you’ve scoured every article in the run mags on heat running, here are a few things to consider:

  • DRINK YOUR WATER, every day, all day long, not just while you are running. 
  • ADD SALT TO YOUR DIET.  When you are sweating it out on the trail, you need EXTRA salt in your body so that as you are drowning yourself in water for both internal cooling and hydration purposes you don’t get water poisoning because you have flushed all the salt out of your body and not replaced it.  Some people use salt tabs to help with this while they are running.  I’ve even carried disposable salt packets with me and eaten a salt packet a couple times during the marathon or long training run.
  • SLOW DOWN.  Do not expect your body to perform the way that it does in 50 or 60 degree weather.  It won’t happen.  There’s a lot of science behind that statement but just take my word for it.  Don’t be disappointed, just focus on getting in the miles at whatever pace you can SAFELY manage.
  • FOCUS ON GOAL.   As you are debating weather you should get your ass out of bed hit the trail with your training partners in the heat, or sleep in and hit the dreadmill in the AC later, remember why  you are doing this.  Remember what you need to do on October 7th.  Remember that failing is not an option.  Remember your goal.
  • PLAN AHEAD.  Where are you running?  Where do you need to drop water?  Can you carry water with you?  How will you fuel?  These are not things I can answer for you.  I normally carry water in a hydration belt on me and drop water for refills.  You will go thru way more water than you anticipate because you will probably be using some of it to cool yourself externally.  I dump water on my head or neck to help keep cool.  What is your MO?  Think about it and make a plan.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELYThis is a good time to look at your wardrobe.  Do  you wear a hat, sunglasses or visor to help shield you from the sun?  Do you have lots of light colored tanks or sleeveless shirts to that wick to help keep you as dry and cool as possible?  Did you buy some shorts/skirts even though you think your legs are ugly?  You need to focus on staying cool and that might mean making a few adjustments to your wardrobe and stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • SAFETY IN NUMBERSIt’s really important to run with a group in this weather.  If you collapse from heat stroke, are vomiting from dehydration or water poisoning, get dizzy from the sun……you will need help.  Carry your phone or make sure that you are running with somebody who has one ON THEIR PERSON, not in their car,  not on the kitchen counter, ON THEIR PERSON

Running in the Heat Cartoon

You can do this.  I think you can.  I know you can!  Now you say it…..”I think I can, I Think I Can, I KNOW I CAN!”  Hit the trail for those group runs and get in your miles.  Just be smart. 

Do you have any hot weather training tips?

Sidenote:  Favorite Training Items Giveaway goes until Tuesday, have you entered to win?

** Happy Training ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com