Let’s face it, summer is a busy season. In Canada, we spend half our year desperate for a bit of warmth and sunshine, so when it rolls around, our time becomes jam-packed with social events and outdoor activities. During this time, a regimented running routine isn’t always the most exciting thing to look forward to. Busy weeks, hot weather, and weekend getaways make it just a little tough to commit to a regular run routine. Here then are a few simple suggestions on how to make your summer running fun:

RELATED: Getting rid of the summer running blahs

1. Sign up to race a shorter distance like 5K or 10K. The summer season is packed with shorter events so you should have no trouble finding something close, convenient and possibly low-cost.

2. In lieu of interval workouts, add strides or hill sprints to a few of your weekly easy runs. These short, fast repeats take little time but are an effective way to boost fitness.

3. Build a solid aerobic base. Dedicate three or four weeks (or more) to easy effort runs whilst gradually increasing your mileage.

4. Run entirely by feel. Leave the watch, GPS and even the iPod at home and simply run as fast and as far as you want.

5. Get off the roads and take to the trails. Trails offer an abundance of benefits including a full body workout, softer surfaces and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

6. Do something different. One day a week, try a complementary cross-training activity such as a yoga class, strength training, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class or spinning at the gym.

7. Become a spartan. Put that running fitness to use in a non-traditional event such as an obstacle, mud or adventure race.

8. Explore your surroundings. Make a point of planning new running routes that explore new parks, neighbourhoods and city streets.

9. Join a group. Find a local running club, meet-up run or clinic that will allow you to socialize with fellow runners and make new friends.

10. Sleep more soundly. Whether it’s being more consistent with your sleep schedule, adding an extra hour (a few nights of the week) or minimizing screen time before bed, commit to increasing the quality and amount of your sleep.

11. Improve your nutrition habits. Summer is a great time to eat more fresh fruit and veggies as well as drink more water for optimal hydration. Time to hit up those farmer’s markets! 

12. Spice up your summer running wardrobe. Shorter shorts, tank tops, brights colours and plenty of accessories (hats, hydration and sunglasses) will have you looking forward to your run that bit more. Invest in a few new things to show off on your summer runs. Embrace the summer trends while you can. 

13. Get up early or stay late. Summer offers the longest hour of daylight but also the hottest temps. Try running early (before 6:00 a.m.) or late (after 9:00 p.m.) to both take advantage of the daylight but also avoid the harshest temperatures.

14. Get back on track. Want to be a faster runner? Track workouts at 10K pace or faster are a fun and effective way to improve your speed.


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