Summer is approaching and this makes many runners’ hearts beat faster of joy: finally, we are able to run in shorts and T-shirt on roads and paths free of ice and snow. And we’ll even be able to get tanned. BUT, aside from all the advantages, summer also brings with it some disadvantages. The following tips should help you to handle those.
A lot of us have some big goals this Fall, whether it be a marathon or cross country season. It may seem far away but these next months of summer are an important part training. This is the time to build your aerobic base to allow for an easy transition into workouts and races in the Fall. While the training programs will continue with some “maintenance workouts”, this period of training is really about doing long slow distance. Yes! I am telling you to run slow!
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Depending on your location you are either having the nicest weather of the year or the worst. For those in the Southern United States you will be dealing with extreme heat and humidity. Becoming an early-bird and running early is one of the best ways to get your training done but don’t be afraid of that indoor treadmill either. Heat and humidity training is actually very beneficial but please be careful, stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and listen to your body.
Your running.COACH plan will give you safe weekly mileage goals adapting to your progress over the summer. A good general rule to follow for increasing your mileage is adding 10% each week. Once you have your first week of running complete, try and add 10% more to the next week. Example: If you start out at 10 miles comfortably, multiply that number by 1.1 [10mi x 1.1 = 11], next week go to 11, then next week go to 12+. After three weeks of increasing, back off and do one week at a lower mileage before resuming your buildup where you left off.
If you have a few years of healthy running you can start your first week with higher mileage but a max of 30mpw is about as much as you want to begin with. If the body is feeling good and strong keep increasing mileage but always listen to the body. It’s always best to take one day off than to be injured for the season.
Racing during the summer is a great way to experience new places while you travel, meet fellow runners, and keep in touch with your speed. Throughout Europe, Canada, and the cooler parts of America this is the most popular time to race. This is also a good time to experience the mountains and trails. If you have some goal races through the summer be sure to take enough time off between your Fall season or talk with your coach to plan so that your fitness can carry forward without burning out.
Another option that is growing in popularity is summer camps, usually run by elite athletes in exotic landscapes in small groups, it provides an opportunity to train like an elite for a week and learn from the best. A Google search should be able to find a destination for you. If you are junior high/high school athlete (sorry adults, this camp is just for the kids this year) there is an opportunity to join me and a number of world class coaches this summer in Reno/Tahoe July 16-20 for the Nevada Altitude Cross Country Camp it is a very educational and beneficial week of training with fellow high school athletes from across the country.
This blog post was written by Calum Neff, canadian born running coach in the U.S., 2:22h marathoner and Guinness world record holder for the fastest half marathon pushing a stroller in 1:11:27. Are you interested in a personal running coach? Click here.