WHO LONGS FOR CRISP autumn air during swimsuit season? Runners with a fall goal, that’s who. While it may be tempting to kick back during the dog days, summer is the time to get serious if you’ve targeted an autumn event. “Staying focused on the big picture is very important,” says Pat Henry, head coach of track and field at Texas A&M University. “It’s consistency over the long term that matters.” Here’s how to work training around vacations and sweltering heat so you can have some fun and still nail a goal, run farther, or take on a trail race.

Fall Focus: Fast Half-Marathon
Summer Setup
“The keys to racing a half-marathon well are having the aerobic strength necessary for a marathon and the speed for a 5-K or 10-K,” says Henry. So if you’ve got a vacation on the calendar, ramp up both speed and long runs for three weeks prior to your break, and use your break to recover, says Andrew Kastor, a running coach for Asics. Active rest, like swimming, yoga, and running easy, will help your body rebuild. If you’re forced to do speedwork under a blazing sun, reduce the distance of each effort and increase the recovery time “to let your body temperature drop below the boiling point,” says Kastor.

Fall Focus: Run Your First 5-K
Summer Setup
Rather than look at the entire summer as a daunting training project, set a mini-goal to simply stick out two weeks of run/walking three times a week for at least 10 minutes. “Most people will notice a breakthrough after that window,” says Gaudette. So even when the weather turns you off or happy hour calls your name, you’ll be more likely to stay committed to your plan. Take it a week at a time, gradually increasing your run time and decreasing your walk time. “Time on your feet is the key as you get your body used to the demands of running,” says Christine Hinton, a running coach in Annapolis. Aim to be run/walking 30 to 45 minutes four days a week by Labor Day.

Read more from the source: How to Train in the Summer to Meet Fall Goals