If there’s one thing I know in relation to summer is that the race choices thin out. A lot. Not to say that there’s nothing to run, but there are usually more in specific areas of the state (at least in CA & FL) or the more northern states (for the country as a whole). Marathons are their own thing, but the pickings for 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons are much fewer and farther between.
Which makes sense. It is summer, meaning it’s hot and there are a lot of additional concerns (such as heat stroke) especially as you get into the southern states. In my search for either a southern California or central Florida race, the pickings are relatively slim. Of course, I’m also trying to pick ones that mix in well with my training schedule, so I may be asking too much.
Besides, while road races may dwindle down during the summer it is a much stronger time of year for triathlons. Admittedly, I haven’t committed to doing even my first tri (which will be a sprint). But still, lots of those races happening nearly every weekend. So if I do decide to try something different and take part in a multi-sport event, that would be a little diversion from marathon training.
While I’m a bit dismayed that I’ll be looking closer to marathon race day for some smaller races to test myself out, there are some positives.
Many do not like training through the summer. I completely understand this as it gets very hot and in some places, like Florida, very humid as well. This completely wreaks havoc on expectations and just general fitness. But at the same time, there are some distinct benefits from training through the summer season.
The most important is of course that you’re training! Getting out and doing something, even if it is at a slower pace or shorter distance to compensate for heat still means you’re doing work and helping out your body. I do want to emphasize that it is extremely important to be careful and aware of conditions when you train during the summer. Heat stroke and de-hydration are just two of many things you need to keep in mind and consider.
What I feel is a factor we don’t always look at is that summer training, even if it doesn’t match your level in the other three seasons, prepares you so much. Sure, I may be slower during the summer. But once those temps start to cool off and we roll into fall I’ll be awesomely conditioned to race.
So while I’m sure I’ll start cursing training through the summer soon, I’ll be happy for it come fall when I’m already in racing condition.