With my area (at least) jumping headlong into summer with warm and sunny days, I find it important to talk a bit about setting up a regular running schedule. I admit the idea has an ulterior and completely girly (*ahem* I mean female) motive behind it which you can read about further along.
Now when I wasn’t training for anything in particular I mixed my runs between early morning and later evening. When I was in marathon training, 90-95% of my training happened in the earlier morning hours between 4-7AM. Only the longer runs of 18+ miles potentially went later into the morning and might last until 9AM. Generally speaking I liked both of these methods, but leaned more towards the mostly early morning.
The biggest reason for this being that you could get anything from a 4 miler to a 20 miler done and still have most of your day to go. That made it much easier to get more done in a day and not feel like I was rushing to get my run in before the end of the day.
Likewise, it felt better for my body to be on a largely regular schedule. While this may make it harder to run in certain conditions, the bulk of races occur earlier in the morning. Depending on the race length, it could start anywhere from 5-6AM (usually marathons and half marathons on occasion) to the 7-9AM range (mostly 5-15Ks). Training in this time range therefore made racing in this time range feel more natural and part of my regular routine.
Of course there are some races that don’t follow that standard like dusk, evening, and night races (some towns do a midnight race for the 4th of July). Not to forget things like ultras or relays which will spread your running across one or several days and could be at any time of day.
At the moment I’m not doing very well at sticking to a routine and I need to work on that. I run pretty much during any time of the day. Early morning if I wake up to do so, if not anytime after that from midday to the early evening. This is bad on my part as I’m sure I’ll do better if I settle into a more regular routine (preferably in the morning).
The benefit of setting this schedule, especially if you lean towards the obscenely early or late time frames, is to make the best of the temperatures in each time of day. I’m still learning this area, but in Florida hitting those early runs made it so your run was complete before the temperatures got too crazy. 90 degrees by itself might not seem so bad, but throw in crazy humidity and it’s safer to just avoid it. My running group shifted Saturday morning long runs up by at least a half hour during the summer months to help avoid the heat.
So as the season changes and the warmer temps settle on us, be smart about your routine.
So that’s the end of the actual tip portion, now onto the girly and completely silly rant…
Rant time! As it gets warmer and sunnier, especially if you’re running at a time of day when the sun can beat down on you, this means tan lines. And unfortunately, running clothing tan lines don’t match up (at ALL) with summer friendly clothes. By that, I mean shorts, tank tops, and most importantly, beach wear!
This is one pro of running in the early morning or late evening; you can avoid the bulk of the strongest summer rays. Or if you’re like the current me running whenever, you have to take some kind of action to counteract looking silly when you hit the beach.
And no, the suggestion of running in my bikini is being vetoed. That only happens, potentially, if I’m running on a beach. Truthfully, I’m too lazy to more than consider hanging out by the pool. I just accept that runner tan lines are part of being a runner.
This post brought to you by some awesome raspberry iced tea.