It’s slowly getting warmer in NWI, and summer will soon hit. This means long days, humidity, and random weather fluctuations. But we do know one thing about summers in Indiana: they’re hot. So what can people in the running/cycling/outdoor workout enthusiast community do to stay cool?
They can get prepared.
Extra Mile Fitness Company is armed to the teeth with gear and information that will help to make your running experience safe and comfortable in any season. But we’re talking about summer here. So let’s start with shoes.
Probably the most important thing to think about is your feet. What shoes you wear make a huge difference in your run. Extra Mile stocks Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno, and other performance shoes from good quality brands. When you go in to get fitted for a shoe you can get a complimentary gait analysis that will help to determine what shoe will be best for you. In the summer, look for shoes that are made of breathable material, and wear socks that will wick away sweat and keep your feet cool and dry. Extra Mile sells Smartwool socks, which are lightly padded and will keep your feet from chafing… don’t be scared off because the word “wool” is in the name.
Look for clothes in bright colors with sweat-wicking and antimicrobial properties. Saucony offers clothes for men and women with drirelease® technology that sucks up sweat faster to keep you dry. Also, look for clothes with SPF in them because the sun can penetrate thin fabrics and you need to keep your skin safe.
Speaking of SPF, protecting your eyes from the elements is important too. Extra Mile has a nice selection of sunglasses that are specifically geared toward those with an active lifestyle. Things to look for when purchasing sunglasses: polarized lenses, rubber bridge and nose pads (to keep your glasses from sliding about while you run), and interchangeable lenses so you can switch them out from daytime running to nighttime running.
Moving upward on the body, protecting your head while you run is important. Seasoned runners swear by the Buff. This neat item can be worn all year round and in many different ways depending on the weather and your objective. Pull it up over your face in the winter time to protect from the cold and wind, wrap it around your head to keep your hair in place and protect your scalp from the sun in the summer. A good idea that comes from Ali Brown, Extra Mile store manager, is to wear this like a bandana when you run trails. It will keep branches from snagging long hair, and protect your head from gross little ticks.
Smart runners don’t leave the house empty-handed. When I go out on a leisurely run I take my ID and cell phone for music and emergencies. But when I go for long runs I take more stuff like gels, lip balm, water, tissues, etc. because I’d rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it. So I need a place to put this stuff, because not all running pants have pockets. Enter the Flipbelt. This looks like a headband, but it’s hollow and you can put your necessities in it and slip it around your waist. It comes in multiple sizes and colors, and the Flipbelt is elastic so it will contour to your shape and not flop around while your run.
Not everything contours nicely, though. Fabrics and skin rub together in uncomfortable ways, resulting in blisters and chaffing. Extra Mile has the hookup to keep you pain free.
Now then, the word gel was mentioned earlier in the article. So we shall now transition into what should go in your body when you run in the hotness that is summer in Indiana. Let me put out a disclaimer first and say that I am not a doctor nor an expert on nutrition. Go into Extra Mile and talk to the staff there if you want more in-depth information, because there is a lot to know.
But what I do know is that you need to stay hydrated. Drinking water is important and Extra Mile sells water bottles that fit on belts, in your hand around your waist, etc. And if you are doing long runs, as in training for a half or full marathon, a triathlon, duathlon, you need to think about nutrition if you haven’t already. Gels, electrolyte supplements, energy bars, there is so much to know, and everyone is different. The Extra Mile staff implore people to test out what nutrition works best for them early on. Otherwise it could result in a crappy surprise during a race. If you need a hint at what could happen, refer to the word “crappy” in the previous sentence.