Want to run better this fall and winter? Well, you probably wouldn’t be slogging through these summer miles if that weren’t at least part of your plan. Surviving the heat shouldn’t be the only measure of summer running success. In fact, it can downright derail the best of training plans and melt our motivation faster than a crayon on a hot sidewalk.
It’s a long way to fall, friends. But here are five things you can do right now to make it your best running season yet!
Set a goal: Yes, just getting out the door some days is a noble one, but let’s think a little more specifically. Consider registering for an event, setting a new weekly or monthly mileage goal, a new PR, or the number of days per week you’ll run. Set yourself up for success by choosing realistic long-term goals, achievable intermediate goals, and a plan to get there.
Keep it Fresh: Now’s the time to try something new. Mix up your running routine with other activities that will make you a better runner, or that take advantage of all your hard-earned aerobic fitness. Try yoga, swimming, or cycling for some low- to no-impact workouts. Hit the gym or cross-train with bodyweight workouts. You’ll come out on the other side of summer stronger and more injury-resistant.
Phone a Friend: Or text one, DM, email, or whatever works. Misery loves company, but a shared experience can make some of the worst conditions a little more bearable. Don’t have a running buddy? It’s easy to find a new one at any one of the Charlotte area run clubs.
Lock in That “You” Time: Summer’s laid-back schedule can make it tough to be consistent. Scheduling your runs makes it less likely you’ll miss one – even when you’re in between long weekends, beach trips, or shuttling kids back and forth to swim team, camp, or what have you. A little bit of planning can go a long way toward keeping the peace in a busy household and getting you some guilt-free run time.
Treat yourself: Tom and Donna had the right idea. It doesn’t have to be massages, mimosas, or fine leather goods – or even that Batman suit you’ve always wanted – but treat yourself for sticking to your plan and hitting those goals. A fall or winter marathon can seem a long way off to reap the reward of your training. But a movie ticket, pedicure, or a new running tee might be just the carrot to keep your motivation high when the humidity is, too.