6 Hot Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer and Train Like a Rock Star!

It is mid-July here in Indianapolis and, as I am writing this post, we are dealing with high humidity and temperatures in the triple digits! Insane, right? Going outside for a run or walk right now can feel like you are eating scorpion peppers in the middle of Death Valley. The good news is that with the right preparation, you can survive the heat and train like a rock star this summer!

Here are my 6 Hot Tips to beating the heat:

Hot Tip 1: Be Patient

Acclimating to the high temperatures takes a minimum of 5-10 runs or walks lasting an hour or more in the heat. It will take approximately 3-5 days for your cardiovascular system to adjust, and up to 10 days for your sweat rate to adapt. It’s always a good idea to adjust your training intensity to the extreme temperatures. Be patient and take it easy while your body adapts to the heat.

Hot Tip 2: Do your Homework

Before you even go out for a run or walk you must have properly hydrated beforehand. A good rule of thumb for knowing how much water to drink during the day is to multiply your body weight in pounds by .55. That gives you a rough estimate of how many ounces you should consume in a day. For example, a 150 pound person should consume approximately 82 to 83 ounces of water a day to stay well hydrated (150 x 0.55 = 82.5).

Hot Tip 3: K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Silly! There is a lot of research out there suggesting that you should drink only when you are thirsty while running. I personally have found this to be a great strategy. Anytime I have tried to follow a set hydration strategy (where I force myself to take in fluid at specific times) it has backfired on me by causing GI distress. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to be proactive in your hydration plan: drink early and often. But make sure to listen to your stomach and body. Also, make sure you have access to fluids on your run or walk. That could mean picking a route with plenty of water stops or carrying your own fluids via a handheld water bottle, water belt, or hydration bladder. Unlike the proverbial horse, if you lead yourself to water, I’m betting you will drink.

Hot Tip 4: Mix it Up

Don’t just rely on water alone. Gatorade commercials are not wrong when they tell you that you are losing key electrolytes when you sweat. Besides cramping, other side effects of electrolyte imbalance include dizziness, fatigue, foul breath, and more. So incorporate some electrolytes into your run. There are many ways to do this (e.g. consuming sports drinks, gels, gummies, etc.). Everyone is different in what they prefer and what their body can tolerate, so I recommend experimenting to see what works best for you. This is especially important if you are running or walking for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Hot Tip 5: Lower your Expectations

It’s a simple fact: increased heat results in decreased performance. So don’t beat yourself up when you are unable to run or walk at the pace you were when it was 50 degrees outside. A running temperature calculator is a useful tool for making a rough estimate of how much to slow down. Just keep putting the work in during the hot days and trust me, you will reap the rewards come fall when it *finally* cools down.

Hot Tip 6: Know When to Fold ‘Em

Training in the extreme heat is something that should not be taken lightly. My first marathon was in hot weather and at the end I had full body cramping and thought I had lost my hearing. It took a trip to the medical tent, two IV’s, and a lot of curse words before I was ready to celebrate my first finish with friends. I’m not trying to scare you! Rest assured that if you prepare properly and know when to back off, this most likely will not happen to you. But you should absolutely stop running if you feel dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease sweating.

Image Courtesy of weather.gov

Have a hot tip of your own that you feel like I missed? Let me know in the comments. Hopefully this article will help with your training this summer and get you to your chosen start line ready to run like a Rock Star!

Monon Trail: 7 Places to Hydrate and/or Evacuate. Broad Ripple Village to 42nd St.

Scenario 1: It’s summertime and it’s hot and humid outside. I’m not talking about “I’ll just get a splash of water before my run or walk and be fine” hot and humid. I’m talking about 70-plus-dew-point-sweat-everywhere-sticky-wet-need-water-every-step hot and humid. What are you going to do? You can’t just take the day off. You’re training for your next big running or walking adventure and a day off is not an option.

Scenario 2: You’re out for a run or walk and feeling great. Nothing can stop you. Today is your day. Then all of a sudden your stomach starts to get a little uneasy. You think back to last night and remember the spicy Pad Thai you had for dinner… A sudden panic sets in and you immediately start weighing your options.

Sound familiar? If you have run or walked long enough, chances are you’ve been in both of these scenarios. You’ve also probably made a pit stop or two that you’re not proud of. No judgement–we’ve all been there. This post is the first in a series where I’m hoping to help you the next time you need liquid relief (or relief of another kind). Here are some places to make a pit stop that you won’t be embarrassed to tell your friends about later:

Water Cooler & Bathroom

Stop 1: The Runners Forum in Broad Ripple Village, located approximately 100 feet west of the Monon Trail at 902 E. Westfield Blvd.

Pro Tips: When you see a blue snow cone shack look to the West for a big red awning on the north side of Westfield Blvd. The Runners Forum is a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Runner Friendly Business. That means they are cool with you just popping in to get some water or take care of that “other” business. Unlike a lot of the other spots I will list, they don’t close down in the winter. This is also where I work so feel free to pop in, say Hi!, and share blog ideas, fresh dance moves, or whatever.

Hours: Weekdays 11-7, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5

Water Cooler & Bathroom

Stop 2: The Loft, located approximately 100-200 feet west of the Monon Trail at 6201 Winthrop Ave.

Pro Tips: Just like The Runners Forum, The Loft is a RRCA Runner Friendly Business and is open year-round. You will have to go around the building (if you’re coming from the Monon) to enter. They usually have a sign on the Monon about a quarter mile south of Broad Ripple Ave. If you stop at The Loft for a bathroom break you can check out the creative paper towel/toilet paper holder they rigged up!

Hours: Non-standard. It’s a fitness studio so the best times to catch owners Doug or Heather are in the morning or evening.

Water Fountain & Bathroom

Stop 3: Canterbury Park, located just over a mile south of The Loft on the east side of the Monon. The water fountain and bathroom are approximately 50 feet off the trail and super easy to spot.

Pro Tips: This is a city park and only open seasonally (spring to fall) from 8am-9pm. I will warn you that I have been in dire need of a pit stop on a run or two and been burned by a locked door at a time when it should be open at this stop. Typically though, it is pretty dependable. It also has a pretty unique hand dryer that gives me the chills when I think about it.

Hours: Seasonal, 8am-9pm

Water Fountain Only

The next two locations are hydration only and are located between 54th & 52nd streets.

Stop 4: Good Dog water fountain, located approximately 5-10 feet off the Monon at 5345 Winthrop Ave., on the west side of the trail just south of 54th street. Just look for the Good Dog sign!

Pro Tips: This is also a seasonal stop: the fountain is turned off during the winter. On a personal note, I’m not sure I have ever used this fountain without first pushing the dog bowl water button first.

Water Cooler Only

Stop 5: Half Liter water cooler, located 5-10 feet west of the Monon just south of the The Good Dog. If you missed the fountain at Good Dog, you don’t have to go much farther for your next chance for some good old fashioned H20 relief.

Pro Tips: This water cooler is brought to you by the nice folks at Half Liter and the Carmel Marathon! It is a relatively new spot so I haven’t had a chance to join in on any water cooler talk with passers-by. I have been told by a reliable source, however, that Half Liter does fill and put out water daily, so I’m saving up gossips for my next pit stop.

Bathroom Only

Stop 6: Porta-pots off 46th street. This is the hidden gem of all the stops featured in this post. It’s bathroom only AND seasonal, but if you absolutely cannot make it to a respectable place for “evacuation”, these porta-pots are here to save the day!

Pro Tips: They are not the easiest to find (hence the “hidden” part of hidden gem). When you come to 46th St. on the Monon, head east on 46th for about a quarter mile and look for the baseball complex on the south side of the street (If you hit Indianola Avenue, you’ve gone too far.). As you can see in the picture, the pots are located in the complex. I promise that there are no fences to jump or anything! They are unlocked–just don’t tell anyone who let you in on the secret if asked.

Water Fountain Only

Stop 7: Near the Indiana School for the Deaf, located just north of 42nd St. and 10-15 feet off of the Monon to the east.

Pro Tips: This is not only our final stop, but also your last chance for water if you are continuing south on the Monon for quite a while… (The only place that I can think of that might have a bathroom and/or water fountain is a soccer park just south of 16th St.–but I cannot make any guarantees there.) This fountain is pretty easy to spot. Big thank you to the Indiana School for the Deaf Class of 2006 for giving us this nice oasis on our fitness journeys!

Hours: This fountain is also seasonal and shuts down in the winter.

Please leave a comment on this article if you know of a stop between Broad Ripple Village and 42nd St. that I may have missed. Also make sure to check out my next post, where I will go north on the Monon from Broad Ripple Village to 96th St. I hope that if you took the time to read this article that it will bring you relief on a future run or walk!

Yours in timely hydration and evacuation,

Jesse

I Didn’t Need a Running Club.

The reason I joined Indy Runners nearly a decade ago is the reason I’ve remained a member.

It’s the same reason I’ve committed to renewing my membership year after year, the same reason I volunteered for my first club event, and why I went after for a seat on the club’s board.

The reason: to ensure that runners and walkers in Indianapolis have a thriving club and community to be a part of. 

When I joined, though, I thought Indy Runners was just a running club. I didn’t need a running club. I could log miles from my front door whenever I wanted. But, I wanted to make sure that others had access, should they want it. $25 seemed like a small investment in something so many others found so valuable. (That should have been enough to make me take notice and join in, right!?)

Then I volunteered for the 35K-ish Relay, met a few members (now dear friends), let myself get talked into joining a Saturday run and realized just how shortsighted I had been. Indy Runners was far more than just a time and place to log miles on a common route.

Indy Runners was a place for creating connections and forming friendships that existed beyond the hours together on the road. It was about working together and pushing one another to be better in our sport and in our lives. The club expanded my professional network and exposed me to people I may never have met otherwise. It’s helped me develop skills that have nothing to do with pounding pavement. Oh, sure – Indy Runners provided accountability, knowledge and resources that helped me train harder and smarter.

Sure, I can do all of my training by simply stepping outside my door, but why? Indy Runners has made me faster, stronger, tougher, more connected and more inspired.

Whatever your reason for joining, I hope you’ve also found your reason for sticking around, renewing your membership, volunteering with club members and recruiting new runners and walkers to be part of Indy Runners. Help me make sure that Indy Runners continues to be the Place for Every Pace in Central Indiana, won’t you?