Monday, August 17, 2015

Tips for Getting Back on Track to Beat the Dog Days of Summer

So did you know that the period of "dog days of summer" is early July to early September? Did you also know that it goes back to Roman times and refers to the sultry period of time that Sirius was rising in conjunction with the Sun? You see, Sirius is also known as "the Dog Star" there you go...Dog Days of Summer! Voila!

But I also happen to know that the dog days of summer are that period of time that it is just so freaking dang hot it is hard to find the motivation to do anything outside of either sitting in a nice cold pool, or finding an air conditioned spot! I also happen to know, and learned it best last year while training for my early September marathon, that it is the period of time that is hardest to train in! Because doing a training run at 5:30 in the morning on a Saturday and it is still 72 degrees before the sun is even up is just ridiculous. Right?? Or waiting until the sun goes down at 8:00 PM and going outside and it is still mid-80's is even more ridiculous!

So what happens a lot during the summer is we R E L A X instead of pushing hard on our training. Mother Nature dictates it. But, guess what? Fall racing season waits for no it is extra critical that as the dog days of summer wane that a plan is in place to get right back on track and start working towards crushing those fall races! So here's my plan for putting the dog days of summer behind me and making this Autumn my best yet!

Don't Totally Slack Over the Summer
Sure, I have had to make tweaks and adjustments to work out over the summer, but because I haven't just sat around doing nothing it is going to be at least a little easier for me to really push during the early Autumn months. I hit the treadmill, I woke up at the butt crack of dawn even on Saturdays, I resisted the urge to eat ice cream for every meal. Over the summer is a fantastic time to work on some cross-training like swimming or cycling too! Granted, you won't be able to push as hard as you may normally push, but if you keeping moving in some fashion more often than not it is going to keep your fitness level up and allow you to jump right back into heavier training as it cools down.

Enlist Help
I have several different ways that I'm enlisting help. 1) I hired Coach Tiffany to be my running coach. 2) I registered for a late October half marathon with some co-workers. 3) I have my reward plan in place and am working hard to earn those bonuses! I know that with a little help I can get back to the level of intensity I was at before summer laziness settled in. Just this weekend a small group of us from work that are doing the half marathon got together to run a portion of the course. I took it easy and walked it since I had been working hard on the time trials/baseline testing for Coach Tiffany all week, but starting Monday I don't get to slack anymore as Coach Tiffany will be providing the plan! But I will honestly say that if I hadn't been meeting my co-workers for that run, I would have sat on the couch instead. Yuuuupppp, having that training run scheduled turned out to be a brilliant thing because I'm so glad I got up and moved!

Refresh Your Wardrobe
I don't know about you, but there is nothing that motivates me to want to work out more than having new workout clothes or running shoes! Just getting a package in the mail makes me want to put the item on and go run or workout RIGHT THEN! Luckily, most athletic companies are releasing new fall styles on clothes and shoes now - including my absolute favorite, Skirt Sports! (Disclaimer: I'm a Skirt Sports ambassador but all opinions are my own and I am not compensated for them.)

Make a Plan and Write It Down
I know this is a pretty basic tip, but you know what? It WORKS. I have always found it to be tried and true that when I take time to create a plan on a weekly basis, my success rate for executing that plan increases exponentially. It's real. It doesn't have to be fancy and you don't have to do anything more than writing a few words of your intentions for each day of the week in order for it to be beneficial to you. When you have a date with yourself, you tend to keep it. I like to spend at least a few minutes on Sunday of each week reviewing my plan in my Believe journal so I have fresh in my mind what I need to do each day and know what it's going to take to make it happen. A little bit of a longer run on Tuesday? I better make sure I get up the first time the alarm goes off and not hit snooze. Barre DVD on Wednesday? I need to make sure the DVD is on my desk and ready to go so I'm not searching for it while I'm half asleep and un-caffeinated. You get the idea...

Just a few of my favorite things! Minnesota Vikings pen, Believe journal, and Starbucks mug!
Keep Your Goals in Sight
Write your goal race on your calendar, put it in your phone, download a countdown app, use some highlighters or stickers or glitter - whatever it takes to keep that goal in front of you! I am using at least a couple of those - I have it on my calendar at home (the one that is posted to the fridge so the entire family knows what's happening and when) and I have a countdown app on my phone, and I have it in my Believe journal. The point is, keeping your goals in sight will remind you why you started, especially when it is hot, you're tired, and you have a bad case of the don't wannas.

So the takeaway is that just because we are in the dog days of summer it doesn't mean you can't start getting back on track NOW so you can totally CRUSH those fall goals! By enlisting help, keeping your goals in sight, making a plan, and keeping active to some degree, you will not only arrive to the start line, you'll arrive feeling confident in the work you put in while everybody else was still lounging in the pool! And if you're looking for the perfect fall wardrobe at Skirt Sports, don't forget to use SSPQL20 for 20% off! (That is also good for race registrations too, such as the Virtual Boobie Run that is taking place the weekend of September 11-13!)

Question: How do you beat the dog days of summer?


  1. My poor journal has gotten so dusty. But, now that I've worked out two days in a row it's time to haul it out again. The dog days got to me about a month ago. But, maybe if I fight back it'll hasten their retreat!

    1. Just follow those tips up there and you'll be right back on track! You've already got help, so there's one to check off...LOL :-)