With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it’s finally starting to warm up around here. That means running in muggy, sticky conditions, which can take a lot out of you if you’re not ready for it.
So it makes sense to be prepared.
If you’re only running a short distance or for a short amount of time, you can get away with heading out without bringing water (unless the temperatures are in the 90s, but then you probably shouldn’t be running anyway). But my rule of thumb is if I’m running more than 5 miles and the temperature is 75 or higher, I bring a water bottle along. I don’t usually drink much, just enough to quench my thirst, but it’s nice to have water available when I need it.
It’s also important to drink before you run. According to the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), you can lose between 6 and 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. The RRCA recommends drinking 10–15 oz. of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running and drinking fluids every 20–30 minutes along your running route.
The need to hydrate in warm weather is especially relevant for those runners training for long distance events, whether it’s a half marathon in the late spring or a fall marathon. As the long runs approach the 20-mile mark, you find yourself on the road for two or more hours and definitely need to have a strategy to ensure that you don’t become dehydrated.
Some runners go to the effort of hiding bottles of water or an energy drink at various points along their route. Others carry what they need on a fuel belt or using a hydration system, like a Camelbak. When I would do long runs, I would run with a 20-ounce bottle for the first 10-15 miles (depending on how long I was running) and then carry a few dollars with me to buy a Gatorade to get me through the last five miles, which were always the toughest.
Don’t be fooled by the temperature. On the North Shore, humidity can take a toll on you. Even if it’s only 65 degrees out, if the air is very humid you can still feel as though you’ve got a piano on your back.
Last summer, I tried getting up early on a weekend morning to do a 20-miler, hoping to beat the heat. I was on the road at 6:15 a.m. and felt fine for the first 10 miles despite the 80 percent humidity. But then the sun came out and temperature rose and it just wiped me out, even with the water bottle. I got through the run, but it wasn’t pretty.
Evening runs aren’t much better, as anyone who’s run the Yankee Homecoming 10-miler in Newburyport can tell you. Even after the sun goes down about halfway through the race, it’s still plenty muggy on those warmer days.
If you start to really feel the heat, it also doesn’t hurt to take a few walk breaks so you don’t overtax your body. When it comes to running in warm weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Starts and stops:
Kudos to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), which announced last week that runners who were unable to finish this year’s Boston Marathon will be guaranteed entry to the race in 2014. Race organizers stopped 5,633 official entrants on the course who had passed the halfway mark after two bombs went off at the finish line. The non-finishers will be notified in early August about 2014 registration, according to Runner’s World. Regular marathon registration will open in September.
The BAA hasn’t announced whether this decision will result in fewer qualifier spots for the 2014 marathon, which is expected to draw even more runners than usual.
Congratulations to New England Running Company of Beverly, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Located on Enon Street, the store has thrived as the area’s pre-eminent specialty running location. NERC has also sponsored countless races and the North Shore Trail Series.
On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to email@example.com.
Today: 18th annual Melody Miles 5K and 5-mile races, Winthrop School, 325 Bay Road, Hamilton, 10 a.m. Includes a fun run, harmonious road race with plenty of music, refreshments. Contact: Jackie Martin (HW FOTA Friends of the Arts) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Farmers Market Association Fresh Food 5K and 1-mile Run, Green Meadows Farm, 656 Asbury St., South Hamilton, 10 a.m. Contact: Heidi Thompson (Heat Event Management LLC) at 1-978-500-4793 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 29: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 30: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact email@example.com.
Saturday, June 1: CSFM Run for the Fund 5K, Devereux Beach, 105 Ocean Ave., Marblehead, 9 a.m. 5K road race and family walk looping around beautiful Marblehead Neck.
Contact: Allison Heenan (Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Marblehead) at 1-781-789-6621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, June 2: Law Enforcement Torch Run 5K, Middleton Police Department, 65 North Main St., Middleton, 10 a.m. A fun run 5K in support of Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes. Contact: Cassandra Anderson (Special Olympics Massachusetts) at 1-508-485-0986 x245 or Cassandra.email@example.com.
Wednesday, June 5: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 6: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact email@example.com.
Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.