Even though Summer has officially just started yesterday, it has been extremely hot last couple of days (and even weeks). As from today, we have what they call a heat wave —this means at least 5 days in a row 25° C or more and at least 3 days of 30° C and more. Needless to say, we’ve been huffing and puffing lately.
Summer can be a great time to run, but hot temperatures can be a tough to say the least. Although it varies from runner to runner, in general, the warmer the weather, the more difficult it is to run longer and stronger. Here are some simple ways to deal with the heat and enjoy your hot weather runs.
Run when it’s the coolest
Take advantage of long summer days to run when the mercury is lowest, this means in the early morning or evening. And although I’m not a morning person, getting it done in the a.m. can really boost my mood for the day. On extremely hot days, consider running speed workouts on an indoor track or treadmill. You will get all the benefits of your workout without having to fight the heat.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Warmer temps mean upping your fluid intake, even when you’re not working out. So before your run, try to drink at least 200-300ml of water or sports drink every hour so your perspiration systems are in top shape. Consider bringing fluids with you on the run in a water belt or pouch. If you don’t like to carry fluids, map out a run that hops from water fountain to water fountain or stash bottles along your route for longer runs —parks are great! Replenish post-run with an electrolyte-filled sports drink.
Run on a loop
Repeat a short, 30-minute-ish loop course. In one spot, leave a cooler with cold fluids, ice cubes, fuel and a dry towel. Stop at your station during every loop to keep your core temperature in check.
Run in the shade or near water
Asphalt retains heat and radiates it back upward. If possible, find a park or trail with tree cover. Rivers, lakes, and oceans also create slightly cooler, breezier conditions.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes
Reflect the sun’s rays away from you and avoid tight attire that won’t allow a breeze to get through. If anything, steer clear of sweat-soaking cotton. Instead, wear moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics that allow your body to breathe.
Pick the right headgear
You lose much of your body heat through your head, which is a good thing during the summer. Don’t cap it off with a snug, thick fabric hat. Instead, opt for a visor or roomier lid with breathable mesh.
Grab that sunscreen
Sunscreen will avoid harmful ultraviolet rays, but also keep your skin and body temperature lower. Don’t forget to apply on overcast days as well. Better safe than sorry, so I always use SPF 50.
Listen to your body
If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or experience cramping, stop running and seek shade. Carry your phone so you can call someone in an emergency. Also, modify your workouts if needed —an easy workout with some walk breaks is better than overexerting yourself or not running at all.
What are your hot running tips?