Hot Weather Running Tips
One of the best parts about warmer weather is the chance to head outdoors. You can relax on your patio or balcony. Take a long walk. Play ball with the kids. Or even go for a run on your favorite trail.
But, running in the hot weather brings its own challenges. Thankfully, even though the temperatures are rising, you don’t have to stop running. Follow these tips to keep running this summer!
- Choose to run at the coolest times of the day: Do you have a running routine? Do you run at the same time every day? During the summer months, you may want to switch that up. That may mean getting up extra early to run at dawn before the sun rises. Or, if you’re not a “morning person,” can you do your run after sunset? Temperatures are generally cooler early in the morning or late at night.
- Choose routes with shade when possible: Every runner has a favorite route or two – a route that they love to run. But you may find that your preferred route has you pounding the pavement and that it provides little to no shade. See if you can change your running route during the summer. Look for routes with trees that can provide some shade or head to the woods and give trail running a try.
- Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential for everyone when the temperatures are sweltering, but if you exercise outdoors, it’s especially important. And hydration starts even before you head out the door for your run.
- You need to drink water throughout the week consistently. Additionally, you will want to make sure your sodium, magnesium, and potassium levels are being maintained. And, you may want to add sports drinks to your training, in addition to gels and chews that you may consume.
- Invest in tech clothing: Sure, those cotton race t-shirts you receive for 5Ks and 10Ks are great, but they definitely don’t wick away moisture. For that reason, you’ll want to invest in some tech clothing. All of your favorite brands are making moisture-wicking clothing – so you should have no problem finding the gear you love.
- Wear sunscreen: Yes, put on sunscreen before you take a run. Look for a sunscreen that can handle the sweat – like those designed for playing sports.
- Adjust your run pace as needed: You’ve been working hard to improve your pace during the winter and spring, but when summer rolls around, you may find yourself needing to slow it down. Don’t let a slower pace dampen your spirit – know that it’s all weather-related and that cooler temps will have your pace rebound to where it was.
- Use the treadmill: There may be days where it is just too hot and too humid to run. And, while you probably don’t like running on a treadmill, you may need to use it. Maybe you can use the treadmill to do some speed work or to work on running at a consistent pace. While a treadmill is not ideal for “long runs” – it can be used for those shorter runs.
- Cool down: It can be tempting when you’re done with a run to jump in a cold shower and move onto the next thing. But you want to make sure you cool down completely – to protect your muscles and make sure your body temperature returns to normal.
- Know the signs of heat illnesses: Finally, be aware of the signs of heat-related emergencies, such as heat cramps or heat exhaustion. It’s helpful to know the early symptoms so you can get treatment if needed.
If you’re ready to head outdoors and run with the nicer weather – go for it! But as the temperatures continue to rise, keep these tips in mind so that you stay healthy and safe.