Getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery is one reason people add running to their workout. In hot weather, it can be dangerous, creating problems of heat stroke, heat cramps, dehydration and heat exhaustion. Here are some tips for running in the heat and stay safe at the same time. They’re also ways to enjoy your run more, so you’ll be more likely to do it.
Create a cool route and plan ahead.
If at all possible plan your route in a local park or along a shady street to help stay out of the sun. Don’t run on asphalt or concrete as both retain heat and will make it even warmer. Running along a water source, like a lake, river or stream can be cooler. If you don’t have the luxury of running in a cooler area, improvise. Run near fast food places or grocery stores where you can stop for a cool bottled water inside an air conditioned building. You may never need to go inside, but if you feel overheated, don’t let it turn critical.
Keep your clothing cool and loose-fitting. If the sun is super hot, keep it off your skin with a lightweight, light colored long-sleeve loose flowing shirt rather than a tank top that shows more skin. Longer loose-fitting shorts provide more protection and more ventilation, which can keep you cooler. Don’t wear dark colors. White and light pastels will help you stay cool and comfortable. Wear a hat that wicks sweat away from your face and keeps off the sun.
Adjust your pace to the weather.
That should be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning, since some people use the same pace regardless of weather. If it’s the hottest day of the year, don’t run at the same pace you would on the coolest day. Use a slower pace and judge your progress by run time, rather than distance run. The only exception to the rule is if you’re training for a marathon in a hot area. Even then, work on progress slowly.
– Time your run to the coolest part of the day. Early in the morning is the coolest part of the day.
– Hydrate before you leave for your run and when you get home. On super hot days, carry water with you.
– Run near an area with public fountains or access to drinking water.
– Carry a towel If you have a fast food place on your route, get a drink but fill the cup with ice and water. Put the ice in your towel to cool your head. Break up the run to smaller sessions, running for 20 minutes, taking a break and running again.