What’s your favorite season for outdoor running? If you picked summer, you are not alone! We love the bright blue skies, the smell of grass in the morning, more daylight before and after work, and not to have to dress in layers! This could be the perfect running scenery if it wasn’t for extreme heat and humidity!
Running in such harsh conditions can put you at risk for dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.
To help you optimize your hot-weather workouts – and because we are summer fans ourselves – we put together some proven to work running tips:
Morning is the coolest time of the day to run. Before sunrise or right after it, the roads are still cool from the night’s lower temperatures.
If you can’t train during those hours, try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s intensity is at its greatest, or seek shade and grass, since asphalt and concrete retain more heat.
Hydration is one of the most important elements to staying cool and performing your best in warmer temperatures. This means you should drink fluids before, during and after your runs.
When it comes to staying hydrated, sports drinks beat water. Why? They contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate and replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat.
In training, drink 16 ounces of a sport drink an hour before you head out and prepare yourself to toss down five to eight ounces of a sport drink about every 20 minutes while working out.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting and lightweight apparel that will help your body breathe and cool itself down naturally. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices because they will wick moisture away from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur.
For your head opt for a visor instead of a hat – it is too constrictive and traps heat. Don’t forget your shades and to protect your skin with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Adjust your Paces
As you probably already know, performance suffers in the heat and humidity. In fact, every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. So don’t push it!
Slow down, take walking breaks, and save your hard efforts for cooler weather. After all, this hot and humid season is not the time to try to push your pace and try to achieve a race PR.
What’s your trick to dealing with the heat? Share it in the comment section!