It is getting hot out there. Time to talk about how to survive the heat and still log your running miles. Here are some tips that I can offer after years of running in the heat and humidity.
1. Frozen water bottle. Carry a frozen water bottle and alternate hands. Even put it on your neck to help keep your core temperature down. When it starts to melt, pour it over your head. Your hands, head, and feet are where heat is trying to escape from, so these are the areas you want to concentrate on cooling down.
2. Ice cubes. Stuff ice cubes in your sports bra, pockets, or under your hat. This also helps keep your core temperature down.
3. Run early in the morning. It is best to try to run before sunrise if possible, but that may not be feasible for everyone. Run as early as you can, and if that isn’t an option, run in shaded areas.
4. Hydrate. Remember to drink some water before you leave, during your run, and when you get back. When temperatures rise, I weigh myself before and after a run to help keep track of the water weight lost. I will lose up to 7 pounds in water weight and that needs to be replaced. That’s a lot of water.
5. Extra electrolytes. It is important not to create an imbalance with your electrolytes. This can lead to all sorts of problems like lethargy, dizziness, and muscle issues. When you sweat, you aren’t just sweating water. Replace electrolytes with things like Nuun, electrolyte tablets, or coconut water. I always shoot for products that don’t have much sugar in them.
6. Wear fewer clothes. Adjust your wardrobe to tank tops or go shirtless. Always wear shorts instead of leggings. This may mean you need to throw on some Vaseline or other product to reduce chaffing. Ugh. ‘Tis the season for chaffing.
8. Wear light colors. Never wear dark colored shirts when it gets really hot or if you are running during mid-day, as it absorbs more heat.
9. Run by feel. Run by exertion rather than your watch. Accept that you will be slower.
10. Time to adapt. It takes about two weeks to adapt to warmer conditions, so give yourself time to get used to the heat. When summer starts, it can be hard to cope, but over time, it does get easier—your body can adjust and adapt to most conditions.
11. Go inside. If you need to, go inside to the dreadmill. No runner wants to hear this, but sometimes it might be the best choice. Heat stroke is real.
12. Cold shower. I even know people that will take a cold shower in their running clothes before heading out. I personally haven’t done this, but I look like I have when I am done.
What tricks work for you to keep cool?
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