Well hello you lovely readers. Sorry it has been a day or two since my last check in, I’ve been busy being a little runner, and “work-outer” this week. So let me fill you in. It is hotttttttt in the Windy City ladies and gentledudes.
So running has been a sweaty, hot, chafe-tacular adventure. And I have been hopping on and off the struggle bus merrr. I am trying not to get fed up. But man it is annoying. So with the heat, I am affected in terms of speed, and endurance. Last summer was the first time I really attempted to run in heat, and I could do it but I was super slow. Now, I’m able to do it, at my target speeds but my endurance does not last as long- I need to find that right combo of going just a bit slower so I don’t need to stop. My physical therapy is also doing wonders, and I am feeling much better as I run.
The other piece to this puzzle is I am doing amazing with my running group. I have been going each Wednesday, and I run.hard. Because I have that motivation to not stop- when I run alone – much like I did yesterday I am way too complacent and do a really poor job of pushing myself.
All of that aside- I have found some strategies and products that have made summer running more tolerable.
1) Good hydration system, and product
– I love Nathan water bottles, I love my handheld, as well as my larger bottle, that goes around my waist. Depending on the duration of the run will depend on which one I take out with me. I usually use my handheld for 6-9 miles. My waist pack for 9+ miles. I am thinking of maybe investing in a larger handheld bottle- but I sometimes get fidgety when I have something in my hand on a long run- I did this when I used my small hand held during my last half.
-Depending on the length of my run and the heat depends what I put in my water bottle. Most of the time I try to do just good old fashioned water with a gatorade chaser after my run. Sometimes the combination of electrolyte drink and bloks or gels really upsets my stomach during a run. However, sometimes if it’s really hot I need both. The two brands I really prefer the most are Gu Brew & Nuun. I happened upon Gu Brew at pre-race expo, and gave it a try a time or two on long runs. I love the Gu Brew Blueberry Pomegranate with 2x Sodium. It is pretty gentle on my stomach, and is great for me- because I am a very salty sweater, the added bonus- it tastes really good.
I also like Nuun Hydration– I quite fancy the triple berry and pink lemonade, my only qualm with nuun is that it is kind of bubbly, and I know this sounds silly but it kind of makes me burp sometimes, and on a run that could be detrimental- as in I have burped on a run before and have borderline puked. Not attractive I know, but it is something I deal with. So sometimes the bubbles from Nuun do not agree with me. But I like it just the same. And let me be clear when I say bubbles- it is not carbonated, but it tastes/feels lightly bubbly – It’s hard to describe but I really do like it, it tastes really really good.
2) A good fuel source- Long runs require fuel regardless, but add in heat and they become harder and more depleting, and once you are depleted of fuel, it is almost impossible to come back. However- and this is a big however everyone tolerates concentrated fuel sources (beans, gels, bloks) in different ways. I have found that when I take too many bloks at once, or an entire gel at one time- I feel sluggish for bit, and feel sick sometimes. So I need to piecemeal my fuel. If I do a gel I slowly take it over a mile or a half mile, if I do bloks I’ll suck on a blok over a mile, and wait a bit before taking another. I am not picky when I go with gels- I love Gu, and I love the Clif gels as well. Clif Vanilla tastes like cake frosting. Clif bloks are great too- I know I have talked about them before but I really like the bloks. Tropical Punch, Margarita, and Mountain Berry are my favorite flavors. Yesterday for instance I ran in the morning/early afternoon, I woke up later than I intended I had a quick/light breakfast, and grabbed some H20 and bloks and headed out. I was adequately fueled with minimal GI issues.
3) Proper attire and accessories. I’ll work from the bottom up. Shoes. I need a new pair. My feet are blistery and sad. I’ll get a new pair in a few weeks and I am pumped. Until then I shall make do. Socks- I recommend a pair of socks that are designed for running that help wick sweat from feet, and prevent blisters. I have a few basic pairs from target, and I LOVE them- one sock is pictured below.
Shorts: I need shorts that are tighter around the thigh- to prevent chafe. Those loose pretty shorts Nike makes- don’t work for me- these thighs be thickkkk, and they will gobble up any extra material between my thighs (I intentionally make them sound like monsters- because they are) so I need stretchy shorts that are tighter around the thigh- I highly suggest Moving Comfort compression shorts (pictured below). They are ultra comfy, and they have a little butt pouch for me to put my keys, or gels in. I have not had any problems with chafing in these shorts- I wear them for my long runs, and I got them at a running store, and compared to other shorts, these were the ones that I liked the most, and the cheapest (double win).
Sports bras- I personally prefer Nike Pro sports bras– they fit me really well, and they wick well. I normally get them at places like Kohls, and Marshalls/TJ Maxx so I can get them for a bargain- but they work best for me, so if need be I’ll fork over the cash for full retail. They are worth every damn penny- especially if you tend to be a bit fuller in the chest area.
tops- I’m not picky on tops- I prefer tanks in the summer- I essentially just want it to be lose, and wick well. I am not picky about brands as long as it will do the aforementioned tasks. Brands I have and like: Target brand, Nike, Under Armour.
Head- I sometimes wear a visor, but I prefer a headband/sunglasses combo. The headband pictured below is an under armour one. I have that to hold my hair back, and I have a few that I also use to actually absorb sweat (Lole, and Brooks). I like wearing sunglasses over a visor because my eyes are sensitive to light no sunglasses = post run migraine.
Last but certainly not least: Body Glide anti-chafe stick for her. This shit is just necessary. Thighs, armpits, under the sports bra. I adore this business.
All of these items can be purchased online at their respective websites, amazon, or in such stores like Sports Authority, Fleet Feet, Universal Sole, & Running Away Multi Sport.
There you have it. I will keep you updated with any further finds/tricks/tips I happen upon during my running this summer. Bottom line: stay hydrated, stay safe, fuel up, and RUN!