What Do You Do with All That Daylight?

Saturday, June 21st was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in terms of daylight between sunrise and sunset. People in Anchorage, Alaska, the most northern major U.S. city, enjoyed 19 hours and 22 minutes of daylight! This opens up many more options for runners to choose from compared to the darker winter months.

Where I live I have closer to 15 hours of daylight, which is still a long time. It gives me the option to run earlier or later in the day, especially in areas that are difficult to navigate without natural light, such as trails and even portions of the Chicago Lakefront path that does not have lights. Instead of the common practice of doing a long run on Sunday mornings, it's possible to do it before or after work in the middle of the week. That's a nice option if you want to spend more time for weekend summer festivities with family and friends.

Summer is the time when some runners like to boost their mileage with doing two runs a day a few times a week. When the heat gets intense, it can help to divide it up into early morning and later evening runs. If you're sensitive to sleep problems, be careful not to run too late. Leaving less than three hours between exercise and bedtime can result in your body's core temperature not cooling off in time, possibly resulting in insomnia. Another advantage of warm weather is that you can incorporate your easy run into several parts of the day without worrying about getting cold from stopping. So you can run to the beach or to do errands and resume your run or return trip an hour or more later.

What's your favorite part of summer running?

Tony has been a runner for over three decades, competing in cross country and track in high school and college, and road races for various clubs. He's served as team captain for several Corporate Challenge teams at YMCA of the USA, and has informally coached many friends over the years.

Tags: This Week in Runners, Y, YMCA, Running, injuries

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