I’m going to start this column with a subject no one wants to talk about, winter. While we are all enjoying the warmer temps, I can’t help but point out that it’s not too late to start planning for this upcoming cold weather running season. This time of year, many local and online retailers have marked their remaining winter gear down to get if off their shelves. You might still be able to score some new gear at a fraction of the cost.

Another quick reminder about some of the larger Quad-City races that we have approaching. There's still time to start training for these races. If you are on the fence about doing any of them, or others, just sign up and go for it.

Firecracker Run: Seven weeks

Bix 7: 10 weeks

QC Marathon: 18 weeks

As we hopefully stretch spring out a little longer, the truth is the heat and humidity of summer is knocking on our door. Since we are all eager to log some warm/hot miles, you need to make sure you are easing into those runs.

You can expect to be a little slower for the first week or two after the temps rise. Normal runs might take a little more out of you until your body gets used to the change. If you can avoid running in the heat of the day during those first few weeks, you can probably log a few more miles than if you were to go out during the early afternoon hours.

Make sure you are drinking plenty of liquids before, during and after your runs. If you are drinking a good amount of water and still feeling a bit sluggish, it wouldn’t hurt to ease off the throttle a bit. It takes time for your body to get used to being able to reabsorb electrolytes during warm runs, rather than expel most of them as you sweat.

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Once you get acclimated, there are a few other items that can help keep runs enjoyable during the summer months:

Wear sunscreen. Pairing sunscreen with gear that has an SPF rating is your best defense to hopefully keep the burns away.

Wear sunglasses. On sunny days, sunglasses can keep you from squinting, which allows you to relax.

Wear a hat or visor. It helps keep the rain out of your eyes during a light shower or downpour (also helps with the sun).

Jeramy Duffee is an RRCA Running Coach and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with racing and coaching experience ranging from 5K’s to 100 mile trail races. For coaching inquiries or to submit a topic for a future column,email him at swingthegate@gmail.com

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