7 Ways to Beat the Heat Running

Posted: May 12, 2011 in For Beginners, Training
Tags: , ,

Summer running is full of excitement — from offering an endless array of road races to treks over new landscapes on vacation, the season of sun brings fun and adventure. Forget the trudging runs repeating loops around your block  in winter’s cold grey claws. Warm weather brings new paths to explore, races to conquer, more running companions and longer daylight hours to run. But along with all the perks of the season, summer can offer hot temperatures, humidity and heat-related dangers. Learn to savor summer’s runs without passing out from the heat with these quick tips:

Drink plenty of water.

  1. Drink up. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink plenty of water throughout the day and after your runs. Drink 8 ounces of water each hour throughout the day and drink 8 ounces for every mile you run. Bring water along on runs that are more than 3 miles, or plan your route to incorporate public drinking fountains. Always bring water to drink after your workouts.
  2. Run early. Early morning is the coolest time of day, before the sun heats up the ground and air. Running early also gives you a boost of energy for the day and helps you get your workout in before any of the day’s distractions take hold.
  3. Take 2 weeks to acclimate to the heat. Don’t jump in and try to do a race or speed workout on a hot day without training in the heat first. It takes our bodies about two weeks to adjust to the heat, so give yourself time. Do relaxed pace runs during these two weeks and avoid intense training or racing.
  4. Dress with less. Don’t wear too many layers or thick clothes during hot weather. Pick light, loose clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Avoid dark colors as they will absorb more heat.
  5. Start slow. If you start your workouts fast, you’ll raise your body temperature quickly and prolong the time your body is heated. Jog a warm up and build up to faster paces if you are doing speed work or tempo runs.
  6. Drench yourself. If you feel extremely heated after a run, pour cool water over your head to help cool down your body temperature.
  7. Know when to stop. If you feel chills, start to see things that aren’t there, get light-headed, feel nauseous or vomit, get a headache or muscle cramps, stop running immediately and cool down by drenching yourself in cool water and resting in a cool, shaded place. You can also place ice packs under your armpits and on your groin. Drink plenty of water.
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