Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

And Now, Here's a Summer Report on the Latest Findings of BillLabs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

And Now, Here's a Summer Report on the Latest Findings of BillLabs

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker

It's summertime and BillLabs returns to its regular but unscheduled ramblings about items and tips to enhance beach life as we know it.

For runners, summer heat and humidity challenge one's heart in two ways. The body has to work very hard to cool you off and the spirit one needs to pursue fitness in the heat is truly tested. Here are some time-tested tips from BillLabs' 40-year veteran runner who loves the heat.

Run very early, like 5 a.m. Run into the wind on the way home. Evaporative cooling is enhanced. Find the one-lane streets like Beach Avenue in Atlantic Beach. There is a bit more shade. In the mornings, shade is on the east side of streets. Reverse that for evenings. Shade is good. Shade your eyes with a cap or visor and sunglasses. This creates an effective illusion if nothing else!

Run the Hanna Park trails, but don't stop. Stopping allows mosquitoes to catch up. The deep forest is cooler than the city. Over 20 miles of trails will satisfy most runners' appetites.

Wear white, light synthetic stuff with mesh fabrics. Develop a water-drinking habit. Drink 15 to 30 minutes before you run. Carry cash to buy drinks. "Fuel belts" come in two-, four- and eight-bottle models. They sell for $25.99, $31.99 and $39.99 at 1st Place Sports and carry water easily. Freeze them for cold water on the run.

If one drives home from town, roll down a car window and turn off the air-conditioning for the last 10 to 15 minutes. This helps to acclimatize the body for an evening run. Jim Steele came up with this idea more than 20 years ago!

There is a special moment for summer runners that is a rare gem of precious time. Just before a violent summer storm, there is often a dramatic time of relatively cold air as it approaches. If a runner or biker can take advantage of it, one almost needs to wear a jacket to stay warm. That's a nice change from a typical July run or ride.

For bikers, a sweat band under the helmet and lots of water from a Camelback water pack is about all I can offer for summer biking around here in daylight. Sunglasses and a helmet visor help. …

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