These are truly "dog days" of summer, and they've even come a bit earlier than we might have thought. A week in the books of temps hovering around the century mark. At times like these, many of us think first about HOW, WHERE and WHEN we'll get our workouts of choice in. For walkers and runners, you can still fulfill your goals, even outside, but I urge you to approach them with a "kinder, gentler" attitude. We can't expect, at very least when we've not even acclimated to outside conditions, to perform at the same level (intensity and distance) as we're accustomed to. Sometimes that means altering the plan, and accepting less mileage, decreased pace, and reduced time spent. Have you allowed yourself, on a rare occasion, to accept that "Completion is the victory?" I hope so, and it doesn't mean you had no intestinal fortitude or that it will be easier for it to happen again next time! When we accept a different pace, number of miles or "performance goal" on a summer day when conditions are drastic, we're first and foremost helping safeguard our future pursuits, because a real heat event can remain with you from that day forward, no matter how accomplished an athlete you are. Your propensity for repeat effects from heat exhaustion or heat stroke grows, and it can happen out of nowhere!
You can usually gauge how hard or long to go, and have a successful summer out if you keep a few checkpoints in mind:
1) Monitor how you feel after each workout, and for the day following. Any noticeable delay in recovery or unique lethargy is worth noting
2) When going hard or longer distance, try to plan early or late workout times, or take it INSIDE if unusually "testing" effort planned
3) Know that it's not always how much you do, but that the workout gets "in the books". If staying outside predominantly, find an alternate workout for one of the days, and make it INSIDE
This "kinder/gentler" view to your summer workouts will show you that you can come back stronger-mentally and physically-by "taking charge" of your training. And you may even appreciate the ensuing efforts more! Keep thriving, athletes, and maybe I'll see you on the roads soon, or at your next race!