Marathon training in the Summer

I knew it would arrive.  Officially it still hasn’t arrived, but it sure feels like Summer.  Yesterday was in the lower 90’s, with oppressive humidity.  Today, much of the same.  It’s time to start planning that training plan for Fall, and how to have a successful cycle and beat the heat at the same time.


When I look back at last years training, I am amazed.  One good thing about keeping a running log is being able to gleen some knowledge from what you have done right and wrong in the past.  From daily workouts to total monthly miles, keeping track of your workouts is important.  I’ve tried to adapt training plans from several I’ve seen online or in magazines because I just don’t believe that any one plan is better than the other.  You have to be able to mold and manipulate a plan so that it works around your home and work life, vacations, appointments, etc.  I feel this is especially important during the Summer months.  Sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense to run a 12 miler for instance, on a 100 degree day.  A Summer training plan must be kept fluid, to be successful.

Dont ask me how I did it, but last year my training in the Summer was amazingly successful.  It led to great rewards in all three marathons I ran last Fall.  After a lackluster training cycle this past winter, I have to figure out what I did differently last Summer that really set me up for success.  My running log sheds some light…..

Monthly mileage last Summer:  June 71, July 108, August 122, September 131.

All good numbers.  My conclusion?  More daylight during the Summer = more opportunities to run when it fits into my schedule and when the weather is more prime for getting that workout in.

Monthly mileage last Winter:  December 77, January 74, February 67, March 63.

To me that really tells the story.  I think commitment to getting in those miles is what held me back, and affected my race performance this past winter and Spring.  I really hate getting all bundled up and run in the dark.  I am much less enthusiastic to train in the winter.  Today’s brutal heat and humidity have me wishing for those days again.  I vow to change my strategy this year.

Mixing in some recovery this week, I really need to get started with training if I want to have a successful Fall.  I’m going for that BQ in September, with a back up race (Chicago) in October.  Let’s see if I can learn from my mistakes and grow as a runner and finally get myself to Boston.

Good luck with your Summer cycle.  How do you beat the heat and maintain your enthusiasm during the Summer months?  Any tips or tricks?  Please share….

12 thoughts on “Marathon training in the Summer

  1. I don’t have any great tips – it’s tough!! But I do think it will make you stronger in those September and October races!! At least that is what I tell myself 🙂

  2. Nothing you can do out here in AZ. Run super early or super late. I’ve been running in the dead heat for endurance training and I need tons of water for drinking plus water to pour on my head and neck.

  3. Summer runs are tough, no doubt about it. I take the following approach: on MOST days, I run early or late to avoid the heat of the day. In the morning, you have lower temps but high humidity and at night, you have slightly higher temps but lower humidity. I tend towards the evening because humidity bothers me more than heat. However, I also make sure to get in some “high heat” days because our fall marathons are getting increasingly warm and I think it’s important to be prepared for that. In terms of making yourself more comfortable, a chilled bandana around the neck or wrist can help. I have a friend who swears by frozen cabbage in his hat but I haven’t gone there yet. And finally, hydration is always key. Whatever it takes to get water/liquid down all day…

  4. It’s humid all day here so early or late, still feels like a swamp. I assume it’s the same for you a few hours north. I just bought electrolyte tabs to test out to be sure my body will handle them to curb running out of them during a run and to aid recovery. Not sure what else we can do during the summer!
    You ran A LOT of marathons last fall and the first of this year. I think if you chisel the number down and concentrate on one race for a BQ, it might be better on your body. I know Hal Higdon preaches to do just one or two A marathons per year or your legs will run out of gas and can get injured a lot easier. Pot calling the kettle black, but give yourself a break, you ran extremely well!!!

    • Its damn humid outside. When your arms sweat, its humid! I did rum a bunch of races, but you only live once. ;). I know I need yo scale back some. Only a few planned for Fall. 😉

  5. Very interesting blog post! Thanks for sharing your stats. I ran all last summer at NOON, and I honestly don’t know how I managed it. I typically run during my lunch break, but I’ve been telling myself that I need to get up in the morning and run now, because it’s just so HOT. And I feel water logged while running if I drink too much water (yet I know I need to hydrate).

  6. Being patient with yourself and allowing yourself to feel awful during those first warm and humid days really helps. Allowing yourself to run a little slower and remembering that it isn’t you, its the weather. Definitely hydrate a lot all week long. Great post!

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