Welcome to the wonderful world of summer running here in Central Texas. We had a wet, cool winter and spring, but I can guarantee will have another extremely warm summer. Hopefully, not the record-breaking kind we endured a few years ago, but it will be disgustingly hot nonetheless.
Sports drinks are everywhere. They have become so ubiquitous that you can find a cooler full of sports drinks at just about any gas station, convenience store or grocery store (except Whole Foods) in Central Texas.
If you were paying more attention during science class than I was, you know the air we breathe contains more than just oxygen. There are all sorts of gases in our air—some necessary for life and others that are deadly in certain doses.
As runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run through the Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating. There is simply no doubt about it, if you are running in the summer, your skin will feel the effects of one or all of the following: sunburn, chafing, wind burn, sweat-induced acne) or just plain, post-run itchiness caused by dry skin.
Running through the winter in Central Texas usually isn't too bad. The temps are certainly tolerable (more so than summer) and unless the precip is the frozen variety, there isn't much that will keep us off the roads. But, there is one aspect of winter running that bothers everyone: The wind.
When you run may make a difference in how you run. Or, says current research. In Central Texas, it seems like everyone is neatly divided up between these three groups who run at different times: Those of us who faithfully run every morning, others who make a habit of squeezing in a run during lunch and those who wait until after work or school to get a run in.
Yeah, I know it's hot and humid (it always is this time of year)but now is a good time to start doing speed training for the upcoming fall season and Austin Distance Challenge Races. Very few runners don’t want to run faster. Regardless of your level of ability and fitness, nearly everyone would like somehow to run faster. The desire to improve is part of human nature.
We all probably remember the old maxim that our mothers told us: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. If you’re a runner—especially a newbie--that should be amended to include bananas. Without a doubt, eating a banana every day is one of the best fruits for your general health and success in racing and training.
If you have started your training this summer for a fall marathon or half (or about to start it) and have been closely following a training schedule, you probably will have noticed that there’s always an easy day, recovery run or complete rest day following every hard or long run. This is the classic hard/easy training method that nearly every runner follows. Even though there’s a huge difference among training schedules, every reliable schedule incorporates this hard/easy style of training.
As runners, we all recognize the importance of recovery from hard workouts and races. Without adequate recovery, our running becomes stagnant and if the training is hard enough and the recovery is inadequate, injury is certain to follow. One of the most important components of recovery is also the simplest: Sleep. Obviously, we all need to sleep but the more we train, the greater its importance. And yet, due to our stressful lives full of responsibilities, adequate, quality sleep is often something which is overlooked.
As dedicated runners, we tend to pay far more attention to the inner workings of our body than the outside. We run in the Central Texas summer heat and oppressive sun and assume if our legs, heart and lungs are OK, we must be fine. Maybe, maybe not. Many of us suffer in silence as our skin takes a beating.
It's that time of year again when newspapers and running magazines all will have similar headlines that proclaim: "Beat The Heat." (Runner's World has the same cover line every summer.) Good luck with that. Bet none of those folks who write those headlines actually live and run in the summer in Austin, Texas.
Despite the Great Flood of 2015, summer hydration is still an important fact of our running life in Texas. Certainly, we all have had the wisdom of drinking plenty of fluids in summer drummed into our collective heads. Drink before, during and after hot, steamy summer runs is clearly part of our summer running lifestyle. Our bodies are mostly water so it’s obvious that hydration is key to maintaining a proper balance of fluids that allow us to run despite our brutal summer heat. (Point of fact, summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st but my reckoning it's already here.)
My calendar says it’s still spring, but sure feels like we're already knee-deep into summer. Don't let this brief cold front fool you after last weekend's temps topped 90 degrees. It hasn't gotten disgusting quite yet, but it's just around the corner (otherwise, known as May). You don’t need me to tell you that the heat and humidity around here makes running pretty darn tough. That is, running on dry land.
For Central Texans in the summer, it’s the heat and humidity. In the winter, we get the wind. Either condition can be brutal. But unlike the heat and humidity that are a constant on just about any summer run, the winter wind is your best friend or worst enemy. On some runs, it can be [...]