As the weather gets warmer, long runs and outdoor workouts can feel like a challenge. But with a strategic approach and the appropriate preparations, runners can successfully train in the heat and humidity.
Consider these essential tips to keep you cool and safe during the summer heat:
Run in the Cool of the Day
If possible, schedule outdoor activities when the temperatures are cooler. Try to get your long runs done in the early morning or evening when the sun is weakest to avoid the midday heat.
Change Your Route
Running on hot asphalt day after day can take a toll – cement absorbs heat and transfers it to you. If it’s too hot, now is the time to switch up your routes and leave the pavement for the trails or a park with ample trees and shade. Running near a river or lake is also ideal.
Choosing the right workout gear is vital during hot weather. Wear loose, light-weight, light-colored, moisture-wicking clothing to reflect the sunlight away from you and avoid trapping the heat. Cap it off with a hat to protect your head and sunglasses with UV protection.
Protect your exposed skin with waterproof sunscreen and reapply as directed on package. And remember, the less clothes you wear, the more sunscreen you need.
Hydrate and Hydrate Some More
It is important to stay hydrated during the summer months. Drink before, during and after your run. Plan your runs on routes where water is available or take your own with you.
Break Up Your Routine
On particularly hot days, consider taking your running indoors on a track or the treadmill. You can also trade in your running shoes for something a little cooler like swimming or less intense like biking.
Listen to Your Body
As always be mindful of your heart rate and body temperature. If you notice early signs of heat-related illnesses or don’t feel well, take walking breaks, drink water or stop. Some warning signs of heat-related illnesses are: headaches, tunnel vision, confusion, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting or dizziness. For more heat safety tips, visit: https://www.ready.gov/heat.
Summer running has its risks, but adapting the abovementioned tips will help you perform better in high temperatures and get you race ready for fall.
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