Get better at running in the heat by running in the heat.
Get a couple dozen hot, sweaty runs in this summer. Feel the sweat in your eyes, fog up your glasses. Let the sweat drip down your legs, into your socks - now it’s a pool party for your feet in both of your shoes.
The Soft Run mentality for running in the heat is about getting rid of the hard edges.
The binary, good/bad classification of a run.
We're human, and we're squishy (sometimes soggy). We're made of red blood cells, not slabs of steel that arrange nicely on a blue-print.
The “awful” run today is good, because training for a race or a distance isn’t done all in one run. Each run is something to learn from, that's why you have to keep doing them. To keep learning.
You lived through a miserable run, right?
Great. You're building fortitude.
You're building a foundation of toughness.
Not in the aggressive, macho version of “toughness,” but in the sense of someday you'll run in this same weather, the same conditions, and you’ll know you can do it.
You’ll be toughened up for the hot weather, and the humidity. It doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but you’ll have done it before.
Now it’s not something to dread, but something to test yourself against.
That’s how you gain experience, the physical and mental understanding of how you survived these conditions in the past, and how you’ll survive them the next time around.
Maybe you missed your goal pace, or didn’t run the entire distance without stopping - it’s a learning experience. You’re building muscles, growing your knowledge, and mental toughness. None of those things are built in one run, or two or six.
You do it week after week, month after month.
And the experience your building today, in that run that you think was total garbage? That experience might help you pass someone in a local 5K race a year from now. Maybe because that person just started running three months prior. Or maybe because you’ve got some experience, some wisdom.
Maybe it’s just your day.
Your first 5K is scary because it’s your first. After you’ve done a few - after you’ve gained some experience - it’s a little less intimidating.
You’ve gained some wisdom.
And you gained all of that experience and wisdom by showing up when showing up was hot, sweaty, sticky, and gross.
Listening to ‘Practise Makes Perfekt’ by Curses (Bandcamp, Apple Music), released back in 2017. This sort of music is out of my element, so it let’s me focus on the sounds, and the tension, and I imagine myself in a fancy car commercial with animated birds yelling at me, and bunnies being surprised when I run by them.