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Summer Training with Kelly B. - Two Laps 4th Edition

With the uncertainty surrounding all aspects of life due to COVID-19, recreational running definitely takes a backseat to the health and wellness of everyone in our communities, but that doesn’t mean we can’t “talk shop” about all things running.

First thing first: why train? Almost all races have been (or will likely be) cancelled through the end of the year, so some have been questioning why they should be training at all.

Honestly, if you’ve been injured or mentally/physically burnt out from logging a lot of miles, now is the perfect time to take a break from training! I was injured throughout January and February, and had already planned on a break in March. With the COVID curveball, I’ve been able to slowly, patiently, and healthfully return to running with ZERO sense of pressure (to race).

Having said that, now that I’m healthy (and if you are too), now is a great time to focus on training without the “distraction” of a race schedule. You can try new training methods, work on idiosyncrasies in form, improve strength, and put together really solid blocks of high mileage and/or high quality running without needing to be fresh for a race.

Or if you’re an overzealous weekend warrior who is normally pinning on a bib every weekend during spring, summer, and fall, this is a great way to pull back on racing and be more mindful with your training approach because you don’t have to worry about competing every single weekend.

Next up, the summer heat. GROSSSSSSSS! Well, maybe not so much the heat, but the humidity, am I right? I live in Minnesota and some might assume it’s not that hot. Well, that is a load of bull. In MN, as in many other places in the US, the summer gets not only hot & sunny, but really humid. There is no shortage of scientific articles out there explaining how similar training in humidity is to training at altitude (in other words, it’s hard!).

Bottom line, if you are struggling in the heat & humidity, you are not alone. I absolutely melt into a puddle in the sauna-like conditions. Keep grinding though, your paces/times may not be where you expect or want, but if the effort is there, you will see gains in the fall (in less humid weather). Just be sure to listen to your body. There is a clear difference between pushing hard and being foolish. Nobody wants heat stroke or heat exhaustion. And don’t forget to replenish with electrolytes. Drinking water is awesome, but when things get really sticky out there, you’re losing salts and other minerals too, so getting electrolytes back in your system is key!

Lastly, fun stuff! Here’s the running stuff I’m loving right now:

  1. Music. I NEVER used to run with music, but I tried it once and now I’m hooked! I love making playlists with a wide range of tunes. Some of my favorites right now: The Man by T Swift; Jekyll & Hide by Bishop Briggs; Optimistic by X Ambassadors; You Should Be Sad by Halsey; and Carnaval by Maluma. Comment with your favorite jams so I can refresh my playlist!

  2. Shades. Summer sun is real. When that glowing orb rises at 5:30am, it’s hard to run without facing it. Squinting gives me a headache, hats are too hot, and visors are ok, but with Goodr making outstanding (and affordable) running sunglasses, there’s no excuse to suffer. I’m not sponsored by Goodr, but I should be.

  3. Clothes. In the summer, well let’s be honest, almost always, I wear as little as possible. My favorite item of clothing of all time (sorry, dudes) is the Nike Swoosh Pocket bra. It’s the perfect mix of bra & crop top, and it has SO MANY pockets for keys, gels, water, etc. I kid you not when I say I have gotten at least 20 women/teammates addicted to this top. Buy it, you will not regret it. Also not sponsored, but should be. :)

  4. Lastly, shoes! My name is Kelly and I have a shoe problem. If we’re talking running shoes though, I’m always on the lookout for good sneakies, especially a solid pair for day-to-day mileage. Comment with your favorites!

My latest line-up & favorites include the following…

Day-to-day: HOKA One One Clifton. I know, they look like orthopedic, marshmallow shoes, but I love the extra cushion for my old bones on easy days & recovery runs.

Mid-level shoe: when I’m not racing, but also not taking it easy, I like the Nike Zoom Fly. This was the precursor to the 4%. Fast, but a little extra cushion for pushing.

Racing flat/fastest shoe: Nike Vaporfly 4%. I know they now have “better” versions including the Next % and the Alphafly Next % (which is hitting the market July 2, but I got a pair to try in February as part of the swag received for running in the Olympic Trials Marathon). After trying all 3, I had to come back to the 4%. It has a soft feel, but it’s super springy and responsive (thanks, carbon fiber). And the upper mesh is seamless and comfortable. 4% for life.

Okay, that’s it for me. I hope you’re staying healthy, cool, and running happily. #runfree

~Kelly Boler

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