Ways To Prepare For Running In The Heat
While most folks are likely to label spring as their favorite running season, summer – despite the heat – is one that likely isn’t far behind. Summer days bring more daylight before and after work and higher temps. As a result, people just want to be outside (for the most part).
However, because summer can get pretty hot, it is essential to prepare yourself for running during these months. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself in an emergency situation. Needless to say, it is best to know how to change things up so as to avoid such a scenario. So, strap on your silicone running bracelet, fill up your water bottle, and check out these seven tips for getting ready for hot summer runs.
1. Adjust Accordingly
While you might have a specific running routine, you are going to need to make some modifications during the summer.
For instance, long or high-intensity workouts should not be done outside during peak hours. Also, if you are used to running a certain route, either make sure that it has plenty of shade or change your route to one that does.
Similarly, it is wise to alter the hours in which you head out for a run. Since the day will be coolest before dawn and after the sun goes down, these are the best times to get outside for some exercise.
2. Apply Plenty of Sunscreen
Even if you are heading outside early in the morning or on cloudy days, it is still necessary to protect yourself from the sun. Therefore, sunscreen is something that you should be applying regularly.
If you are going to be outside for extended periods of time, then you should know how often to apply sunscreen (every two hours) and get into shady areas as often as possible.
3. Alter What You Wear
In the summer months, you will want to wear clothing that is lightweight, light in color and potentially has some sort of ventilation. You will also always want to wear a hat and some sunglasses when running in the summer.
Additionally, something else that you will want to wear is a heart monitor. The reason for that is that hot weather increases your heart rate. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you stay within a safe range using a heart rate monitor.
However, if you use an Apple Watch, you don’t need to purchase a dedicated heart rate monitor, as that will do just fine. That said, if you have any sort of medical issues, it is wise to purchase an Apple Watch medical alert ID in case anything happens to you out in the heat.
4. Be Careful with Alcohol and Meds
During the summer, it is especially important that you consider how alcohol consumption and medications can impact you and your exercise routine.
The fact is that alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines and a slew of other medications can all dehydrate you, thereby making running in the heat quite dangerous.
This means that it is critical to consider when these things are consumed in relation to your summer runs.
5. Stay Well-Hydrated
This tip applies all year long but is particularly important during the hotter months of the year.
Before you go out for a run, down a 16-ounce sports drink to make sure you are hydrated. While you are out, make sure to down another five to eight ounces of water or sports drink every 20 minutes to replenish what you are losing through sweat.
6. Head Indoors
On days that are especially hot, it may be wise to take your run indoors, opting instead for the treadmill at your local air-conditioned gym.
Alternatively, if the treadmill isn’t really your thing, you can instead opt for some aqua jogging sessions, which bring a multitude of benefits to the table.
7. Slow It All Down
Because the higher temperatures of the summer will affect your heart rate, it is important for you to start your runs slowly, gradually increasing your heart rate.
The same applies when your run is coming to an end. Rather than coming to an abrupt stop, do a gradual slowdown to help regulate your heart rate and cool your body.
In the same vein, it is important to slow your runs down a bit more than you would normally. Because your body has to work extra hard in the heat, it is best to focus on time and effort instead of distance and pace.
Going for a Summer Run
Running during the hotter months of the year can undoubtedly be an enjoyable experience. However, it is necessary to make some preparations and alterations for safety reasons.
By changing up your clothing, routine, running hours and similar details, you can stay safe and have a great time getting outdoors for a run when the weather is warm and the days are long.