I’ve often asked myself, “why must I get up at 5am on a Saturday to run?” during the summer months.  The answer is quite simple; I must beat the heat.  Training during the summer (if you live in a climate similar to Dallas) can be a challenge, both mentally and physically.  Therefore, I thought I’d give some helpful tips to make running more enjoyable:

1.    There was a recent study done on the effects of solar radiation, temperature, humidity and wind on performance and the results showed the clear days had a greater negative effect (read much tougher run when the sun is in full force) than cloudy days.  So this first tip is a no-brainer, if you’re running on a sunny day chose a route that has lots of shade!
2.    Trick your mind into thinking you’re running in shorter loops.  If you have a long-run planned, break it into shorter distances (ex. 3-mile loops) and stash a cooler with all your “Pick-me-ups” (water, ice, sports drinks, towels, etc) allowing for breaks to rehydrate and cool your core temperature down. This will also help your mental endurance, instead of running 9 miles, you can look at it as 3 loops. 
3.    Run by effort not pace.  Worrying about how fast you’re running when the temperature is hot can actually be very defeating so instead focus on how much effort you are making and run by how your body feels.  In reality it takes much more effort to run in the heat.
4.    Break it up.  You can always start your long run outside and finish on a treadmill or take walking breaks (ex. Walk for a minute every mile).  

If you are new to running or interested in finding a great group to run with here are some ideas:

White Rock Running Co-op: https://www.facebook.com/groups/139970709393799/

Luke’s Locker: http://www.lukeslocker.com/Training/TrainingByStore.aspx?sID=24

Run on!: http://runontexas.com/find-your-pace

I hope this information has been helpful and remember Runner’s, Fall is right around the corner!