Hot summers are no more uncommon and at times the heat is so intense that it is easier to get tempted to leave the field of running rather than trying to beat the heat. Adapting to summer might seem difficult and some may find themselves miserable and helpless but in reality there are certain tips that could make this hot weather run more enjoyable. Although your body would need some time to adjust to this weather for running and you may love only cold weather for running but it is not impossible to complete your long runs at this time of the year. You just need to train your body to work hard but make sure you also listen to your body and not overdo it.
Tips for Running in Hot Weather:
Here are some tips for running survival during hot weather and by following these tips you will be able to beat the heat and humidity that may be playing role of a roadblock to your running track.
- Avoid running in strong sun rays: Cooler parts of the day in extreme summers are usually before sunrise and after sunset. Run at a time when there are no strong sun rays if possible. Sun would be at its peak during 11 am to 4 pm so make sure you plan your running routine anywhere before or after this time frame. Keep a check on heat index as heat above 89 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous.
- Run in shades: It may not be possible at all times but whenever possible trying running under shades such as opting for routes that have higher buildings around or you may run in a garden. Try to avoid direct sunlight so that you find running in heat a bit less difficult.
- Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate: The most important factor for smooth running routine in hot summers is to keep your body hydrated. A balanced intake of fluids is vital so make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Special emphasis should be given on intake of water when you are running in heat. If you are running long distances in heat, if possible plan your course in a way that you pass through places where you can water out your heat at varied intervals.
- Ice water: When the summers are extreme hot, you can simply freeze your water bottle and carry it along as you run. This is an instant way to cool down your heat stimulating thirst in the middle of a run.
- Sports drinks: As you run, you will face a reduction in electrolytes and sodium that is released from your body in the form of sweat. This loss needs to be recovered. Especially if you are running long distances, it would be difficult to keep up with this loss if you are not replenishing loss with the use of a sports drink. While opting for a sports drink, make sure that it is from a well-known and trusted brand.
- Opt for wicking clothing: Cotton and other materials have the capacity to soak water and thus they usually stick to your skin when you sweat. This results in buildup of heat within your body. It is best to opt for some wicking material clothes that are designed to keep moisture away from your skin and thus offers a cooling effect in hot weather.
- Other gears: Apart from wearing wicking clothes, make sure that clothes are not too fitted and clothes should be light colored. Direct sunlight on your skin could actually burn it. So make sure you wear a sunscreen. Also wear a hat or visor along with sunglasses in order to protect your eyes from harmful sun rays.
- Flexible workout: Keep yourself open to modification in your workout as and when required. Do not overdo and overstress yourself. Go easy with your running routine as overexerting yourself can result in injuries and problems that may need you to stop running completely.
- Take frequent breaks: In hot weather, you may need to take frequent breaks in order to regain energy to run further. This is completely fine. You can begin with taking breaks every 10 minutes during run and later as you build endurance; you may skip some breaks too.
- Run at a slower pace: As summer or hot season begins, your body may not be prepared to workout in heat. So give your body some time to adjust to heat and in a week or two; you will be able to run more efficiently. It is best to start at a slower pace in order to give your body some time to adapt and then slowly and gradually increase pace to reach your normal running speed. Additionally, if you are a long distance runner; you may opt for shorter runs so that your body gets used to of running in heat without causing any serious harm to yourself.
- Look for a STOP RUNNING WARNING! Feeling dizzy, sweating a lot more than you usually do, getting chills or any other warning should be considered as a serious sign and you must immediately stop running. Immediately find a shady place to sit down and drink water or any other appropriate drink. This could be a sign of heatstroke (body fails to balance its temperature). Consult a doctor soon if you are facing any mental or physical changes such as confusion, unconsciousness, red skin, dry hot armpits etc. Seek for a medical treatment in emergency as quick as possible.
No other tips can work better than listening to your body. If you find any signals or warnings that are asking you to stop running or skip a routine; do that. Other than that follow a well-balanced diet along with these tips that we have shared here. Running in heat can result in severe dehydration so make sure you carry water at all times and drink plenty of it to keep your body fueled and energized during runs. Heat and humidity comes with hot weather and these tips would prove helpful in keeping yourself safe under heat too.