I always look forward to the summer. After slogging through many training runs in the cold dark winter months, it is always a great feeling when I get out the door for that first run in just shorts and a t-shirt! Summer is a great time to get outside and be active. Summer can also present many distractions that can keep us from maintaining a good exercise program as well! Pool parties, barbeques, kids activities and long weekends away. These things can easily sneak up on you and get you out of your routine.
The thing we love so much about summer can also be our biggest adversary – HEAT! High temps offer a great excuse not to get out and be active. Here are a few things I do to keep myself motivated and active during those summer months:
Start Early: Last summer I started most of my runs at 5 a.m. to take advantage of the cooler temps. This also works for me because my workout is done and out of the way and not there looming over me the rest of the day. Another advantage is I am not running in strong, direct sunlight at this hour, therefore I am being sun aware and taking care of my skin!
Find a partner: It is always more fun to have someone to train with. You have someone there to talk to and also most of us feel more secure having a buddy with us rather than being out there by ourselves. This is also good for accountability! Knowing you have someone you have to meet for your workout will give you motivation to get out there and do it!
Set Goals: This is a great motivator for me! I always schedule races throughout the year to keep me in a good training cycle. Having something to work toward will keep you focused and inspired. Share your goals with friends so people will know about it! This will help prevent you from slacking off, knowing your buddies will give you a hard time about it. (Especially if you have friends like mine!)
Mix It Up: Incorporate some cross training to keep things fresh. I usually mix in some mountain biking, hiking and weight training when I want a day off from running but still want to be active.
So take advantage of all summer has to offer! Stay active, motivated, hydrated and inspired. Most of all have fun out there and please be sun aware!