Tips for Running in the Heat
Summer running can be tough. The heat makes your body tired and can make the run feel like it is dragging on forever. If you are running in the heat, it is important to know how to safely run in the heat, not only to make your run more enjoyable, but also to keep you safe and healthy on your run.
Know your body: This is so important. You need to be able to pay attention to your body and respond to what it needs. It is not worth it to run through dizziness or dehydration because it could lead to heat exhaustion. If you need to slow down or stop for a minute, do it! Take care of your body.
Slow down: You are going to feel more sluggish in the heat, this is normal. Slow down your workouts, make them less intense if it is really hot. Also keep in mind that you are going to feel more tired in the heat so don’t beat yourself up if you have a tough workout.
Hydration: It is so important to be well hydrated. This is the biggest thing that will help you feel really good or really bad on your run in the heat. Hydration starts well before you start your run. You need to make sure that you are drinking plenty throughout the whole day so that you don’t go into your run already dehydrated. Need extra reminders about staying hydrated? There are water bottles that help measure how much you drink.
Sports drinks: It is good to add a sports drink in during or after your run to help your body replenish sodium and electrolytes. Regular water is great, but sometimes a little extra help makes recovery faster.
Take water on your run: Bring some water with you. This is great for keeping you hydrated as your run, but I also like to spray it on my face or in my hair. It is amazing how fast this cools you down and makes you feel good. If you don’t like to carry water with your, make sure your running route has some places where you can stop and get water (local parks or rec centers are great).
Sprinklers: Run through sprinklers! It seems like there are always sprinklers on somewhere when I go running in the summer time. Sprinklers are a great way to cool your body off and get you rejuvenated so you can keep going.
Chafing help: Chafing can be way worse when it is hotter out. Wear clothes that prevent chafing, I like to wear spandex shorts or pants because they don’t rub as much. There are products that you can put on areas more prone to chafing that help prevent rubbing and chafing as well.
Dress light: The clothes you wear can make a big difference on how hot you feel during your run. I have noticed even the difference between pants and shorts make a big difference on how I am feeling when it was hot. Wear clothes with light fabric and light colors. Dark colors attract heat.
Acclimate: The body is amazing, it adjusts to different situations and climates. Your body can get used to the heat and running will get easier but you have to stick with it for a couple of weeks.
Go in the morning/evening: It is best to go early in the morning or late at night to avoid the direct sun. The cooler weather is way easier and better to run in. Obviously, there are times when you can’t go early in the morning or late at night, but I suggest when you can to always try to go then.
Go inside: When it is too hot, find a way to run inside: use a treadmill, at a gym, find a rec center with an indoor track, etc. I wrote a post on ways to exercise when it is too cold outside, but it applies to being too hot too!
Summer heat doesn’t have to stop you from sticking to your fitness goals. Be smart and pay attention to your body. Don’t try to over-do anything and enjoy the beautiful weather outside! Enjoy your summer training!