Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes a lot of barbecues and parties. With many runners training for half or full marathons in the fall, the parties can throw a wrench into even the best training plans. Here are some tips on how to have fun while maintaining your training schedule.
Schedule Your Runs Ahead of Time
It's best to run the morning of a party rather than the day after. Map out which days you will be attending parties and then do your best to schedule your runs around the festivities. If you're attending only one party, then adjusting your run schedule will probably be fairly easy. If you're attending more, it may get complicated. Do your best and don't beat yourself up if you can't adjust your run schedule perfectly.
Alcohol tends to dehydrate the body and can hinder your training. It's best to stay away from alcohol. If abstaining from alcohol is not an option, then keep it to a minimum. To stay hydrated and prepare your body for upcoming training runs, make sure to drink plenty of water while you're out in the hot sun.
Try to eat as best as you can while at your summer barbecue. Stick with good carbs, lean protein and minimal junk food. That being said, if you splurge a bit on potato chips, hot dogs and cookies, don't think you've blown your entire training program. A couple of days of less-than-optimal-nutrition may have an impact on a few runs, but once you're back to eating well you'll be able to recover. Just realize that fueling poorly will have an impact for a short period of time. Ease back to your running pace if you don't feel normal.
Stay in the Shade
Many barbecues and parties will be outside, assuming the weather cooperates. Make sure to stay in the shade and/or wear a hat with a wide brim to keep you covered. Being in the sun can drain you, so avoid direct sunlight to prolong your energy. Don't forget to wear sunblock, but that goes without saying whether you're training or not.
Get Enough Sleep
Do your best to get enough sleep. If you can manage to get enough zzzs and stay hydrated, you will be well ahead of the game. It may be more fun to stay out late several nights in a row, but if you do, your training will probably suffer.
Do you have any novel ways to handle summer parties and your training schedule? Comment below.
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