I ran the Houston marathon this January. It was a smooth marathon with perfect weather, during the marathon AND during the 4 months of training. Living in Houston, we have what I think is a perfect winter. It does not snow, but it gets cold enough to bring out your nice coats from the back of your closet.
My excitement from the Houston marathon led me to sign up to the Chicago Marathon happening in October 2016. It never crossed my mind that in order to train for October, I was going to have to train in the summer… Not just any summer: Houston, TX summer. I’m talking 90-100+ degree temperatures with full on humidity.
Training for a marathon is not easy. But training for a marathon in the heat of the summer is just cruel at times. It has not been easy. I am 3 weeks away from the Chicago Marathon and could not be happier to get this training over with. Every time I do a long run, I continually tell myself I am never doing this again and will only do marathons that take place from January through March so I can train in the winter.However the runner in me sees the pros of running in the summer. Yes, there is a lot going against it but there are a couple of things that still make it worth it. So here’s what I currently feel are the Pros and Cons of a summer marathon training. Let’s start off with the obvious, Cons.
- Your time will be slower during your training. It’s frustrating to see your pace when you run in the summer. You know you can do so much more, but the humidity and heat just won’t let you. And you shouldn’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. The runs become longer and your frustration increases. You start to believe there is no way you will finish this marathon alive.
- Your long runs must be finished before 8AM. Hence waking up at 4:30AM is completely normal. It’s soo rough to wake up so early! You must go to sleep early to be fully rested for Saturday morning’s run and be up and running before dawn when it is the ‘least hottest’ time of the day.
- Your mind game must be on point. Honestly, these runs have been uncomfortable. Not injury wise, just heat wise. I have to constantly play mind games and keep myself distracted from the heat and motivated to run. Just getting myself out there to run has been rough. Then running has been even tougher. I have wanted to just quit in the middle of a run so many times! Although finishing always feels good, I have been disappointed on how not enjoyable my runs have felt.
However, as September begins… it start to get better. Hang in there! Here’s why:
- Summer training means fall marathon! And fall marathon means BEAUTIFUL weather! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, people!! If you are putting yourself through the roughness of running in the heat of the summer, don’t give up! I know it feels like running in hell, but it will get better. Your marathon will be in the perfect weather of Fall season. Just think of how much easier it will feel on your body. You will come at an advantage when you stand on that starting line.
- Your pace WILL improve. I was frustrated all of June, July and August. Every run was hell. Every run felt like forever. And when I looked at my time I just felt like a disappointment. But as September is coming around and the temperature & humidity drops JUST slightly SOME days, I can’t even explain how different and better my body performs. It’s like my body is saying, “Aaahhhh Thank youuuu!! Let’s run forever now!”
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. As long as you continue to take into consideration the heat and humidity to hydrate yourself CONSTANTLY, your performance will improve when the summer is over. Again, this training will only put you at an advantage for your Fall marathon 🙂
To all of those training right now, let’s keep it up! How has your training been? How is Summer treating you in your side of town?