tips for running in heat

Runners have a creed similar to the Postman, “ Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. No matter the weather, we get out there and run. This is especially true if you’re training for a marathon. I knew it was gonna be a hot day, so I took steps to take advantage of my scheduled 6.25 mile run. So here are

Tips for Running in the Heat

  1. Run early morning or late evening - This is when the sun rays won’t be strong and the temps will be cooler.
  2. Hydrate before, during and after your run - This is important. You want to ensure that you are replacing fluids lost during sweat. If you’re running for more than 40 minutes, include a sports drink to replace electrolytes.
  3. Run on trails or shaded areas - Dirt trails hold far less heat than concrete or asphalt surfaces. They also tend to be shaded which means that it will be cooler.
  4. Reduce your running speed - It’s important to manage your body temp. so that you don’t overheat. I was scheduled to run intervals at race pace this morning and slowed down as soon as I realized that my body was rising too quickly. I didn’t want to get exhausted and cut my run short.
  5. Wear cool, light colored, loose clothing - Dark colored clothing absorbs heat so make sure you wear light colored moisture wicking clothing that will help keep you cool.
  6. Wear sunscreen/sunblock - This helps protect your skin from sun damage. Use a product of at least SPF30 and ensure that you use it on all exposed areas.
  7. Wear sunglasses & a hat/visor - This helps protect your eyes and skin from too much sun exposure. Some hats & visors have an internal headband that can help soak up sweat.
  8. Carry your cell phone in case of emergency - This is a must during any run. You never want to be stranded somewhere. I once got super dehydrated during a run a couple years ago and thankfully I had my phone so that I could call my husband.

Happy Running! Please feel free to share:)

4 Tips for Running in Heat and Humidity: After months of endless snow and bitter cold, runners everywhere are shedding layers and rallying for a summer of training. Unfortunately even after three weeks of acclimating to the new weather, many runners find summer training feels harder. It turns out that increase in difficulty isn’t just in your head.

According to a large 2012 study of marathon finishers, “The environmental parameter that had the most significant correlations with marathons performances was air temperature… Humidity was the second parameter with a high impact on performance”.

Heat and humidity combined impede the release of heat from the body causing a rise in core temperature, which increases heart rate and can cause even an easy-paced workout to feel more like a tempo run. Since the air temperature no longer helps cool the skin, the body must try to cool through sweat. However, sweat doesn’t evaporate from our skin in high humidity creating an endless loop of extra work for the heart.

Running at a consistently elevated heart rate can lead to over-training as the body struggles to recover between runs that require increased effort. The following tips can make summer training more enjoyable and help runners feel ready for fall race season.

1.) Train By Feel: As noted, the increase in heart rate can make even an easy run feel harder. The body is actually working harder, so to ensure you do not overheat or over-train it becomes important to rely on how you feel and your heart rate rather than pace.

2.) Don’t Underestimate a Breeze and Some Shade: While you may prefer running in the morning, if the evenings carry a breeze it may be worth flipping your schedule. Even a light breeze will aid the skin in clearing away sweat to help lower body temperature and ease running. Eliminating contact with direct sun light will not improve the outdoor temperature, but it will keep your skin from getting too hot, hopefully allowing for better sweat evaporation which helps cool the body; one of many reasons summer marathon training runs often start hours before dawn.

3.) Decrease Your Core Temperature: This will require a little bit of creativity. Try these tricks:

  • Wet and freeze your hat or a bandana the night before longer runs.
  • Carry a handheld with ice water, the CamelBak chill is especially great for this. Studies have shown that holding something cold can provide a cooling effect for the entire body.
  • Invest in an ice vest like the pro’s to wear for a few minutes prior to runs.
  • Enlist a great Sherpa to meet you at certain spots with ice sponges.

4.) Switch to Iced Coffee: A small 2010 study of Malaysian runners indicated that utilizing caffeine prior to the run, did not impact the runner’s hydration levels, but did improve performance. For those who enjoy their morning coffee, it appears you don’t need to forgo it during the summer months. However, switching to iced coffee will provide an energy boost and thermogenic cooling. Consider this effect for all pre-run fuel; keep digestion to a minimum as it increases body temperature.

I’m not professional but here you’ll be able to find tips, motivation, advice, etc that I find to be helpful with running that I have written.    I’ll try to add to this list as much as possible - if you have any requests/questions regarding this, feel free to email me!