When the temps shoot up, skipping your morning run to spend some quality time with your A/C can be pretty tempting. High humidity is not only be uncomfortable, it can also put more stress on your body during a run, mess with your pace time, cause dehydration, and, if you’re not careful, can even lead to heat exhaustion. The good news? There’s ways to work around those scorching temperatures without having to sacrifice your workout, or your health. Here are some tips on how to handle the heat:
Stick to a Schedule
Make sure you plan to run either in the early a.m. before the roads warm up, or, if you can’t manage it, after sunset. To offset the chance of heat exhaustion, try to avoid running during the hottest point in the day—typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must run during these hours, stick to shady roads or trails.
Stay cooler by wearing loose, light coloured and sweat-wicking material. Cute or not, a dark, tight-fitting outfit will only act as a magnet to the sun’s scorching rays, making you extra sweaty and overheated. Help your body breathe by dropping layers and baring some skin. Pairing a racerback tank and running shorts or a skort will help keep things light and breezy.
Protect your eyes and skin from the harsh summer sun by sporting a pair of UV-blocking sunnies and plenty of sunscreen. Apply a sweat-proof SPF of 30 or higher all over your body before gearing up for your run (don’t forget your ears and scalp!). For even more protection, pick up a visor or running hat to keep your face shaded.
On those extra hot days, take a cue from professional athletes and cool down BEFORE your run by taking a quick, cold shower. Pressed for time? Simply rinse your hands in icy water before heading out the door. During your run, stay cool by using your water bottle to periodically splash your face or body.
Loading up on H20 is crucial during summer runs. The hotter the day, the more fluid you’ll lose to sweating—which, if not replenished, can lead to dehydration. Aim to start drinking water around one hour before you plan to lace up and leave. Take small, frequent sips pre-run, and continue to hydrate while on the road. Maintain energy levels and replace electrolytes lost during longer runs by sipping a sports drink post-workout.
Don’t Push It
One of the most important things to remember when running in high heat is to slow down. Don’t expect to match your average pace or improve your performance, and make sure you take plenty of walking breaks as needed. Never try to beat the heat by overdoing it, and if at any point, you feel faint, dizzy, disoriented, or your skin is cool and clammy to the touch, take time out, or stop your run altogether. If there is an extreme heat alert in your area, train smart and move your workout indoors.