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Strategies to keep running in the heat of Baltimore's summer

It's hot.  Damn hot.  SO hot.... remember those lines from Good Morning Vietnam?

With fall marathons such as our own Baltimore marathon and other events right around the corner, many of us need to get the miles in daily whether it's 96 degrees and high humidity or a more sane thermometer reading. 

Even when heeding hot weather running advice (i.e., run before dawn or after dusk, bring plenty of water, run in shady areas, etc.), we'll still finding ourselves gutting out a long run or speedwork in hot temperatures.  Here are some strategies to keep yourself moving on mile 12 of that 15-miler or the 10th interval of speed work.

  • Wear headphonesMusic can distract you from how hot you feel.  Research shows that music puts a spring in our step, as well.  Tell yourself you can make it through one more song... and then one more...
  • Pick an object up ahead and run to it.  Then pick another object.  Little by little, you'll get there.
  • Be zen.  Focus on the breath going in and out of your mouth and not on how hot it is.  Concentrate inward.  Feel how strong your legs are.
  • Run a different route.  Varying from the usual scenery can take your mind off of the heat.
  • Think of the reward.  When your event comes in the fall the crisp air will make you that much faster after you've acclimated to the heat.
  • Repeat a mantra

Remember to give yourself a break in hot temperatures; it's simply not possible to run your fastest in the heat.

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