If you live in a climate where the weather fluctuates, getting the taste of a perfect run makes it hard to imagine a workout in the heat. Hate to break it to you but summer is here and 90°F temperatures are rapidly approaching. Learn how to beat the dangerous summer heat with these helpful tips!
As the temperature rises it is important to take the proper precautions to keep yourself safe from heat cramps, heat fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and hyponatremia. The warmer the weather the more challenging the run. Breathing becomes more rapid and your heart rate rises. Below are a few tips to help you win the battle over the hot summer heat.
1. Run early in the morning or late in the evening. Planning a run when the temperature and sun exposure is less intense will increase your chances of running at an optimal pace. The air quality makes a dramatic difference. The heat and humidity will not be as intense which will help the run go smoother.
2. Allow your body to adjust. Giving yourself the opportunity to acclimate to the hazardous conditions will help prevent dehydration. It takes about 8 to 14 days for your body to adjust to intense weather conditions. This will allow your core body temperature, heart and sweat rate to get accustomed to the rise in humidity and heat.
3. Stay hydrated. Adequate amount of fluid intake will aid in keeping your water storage high and prevent dehydration. Plot your run around water stops or stash some bottles strategically before the workout. Drink about 16 ounces of water with electrolytes an hour before. Coconut water is also an excellent way to restore the loss of electrolytes. A study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that coconut water replenishes body fluids as well as a sports drink. For runs shorter than 45 minutes water will be suffice, but as the run increases, electrolyte tablets can aid in fueling the muscles and replace the loss of salt and potassium that occurs during an intense workout. Drink about 5 – 8 ounces every 20 minutes during a run. A possibility of overhydration may take place as well called hyponatremia. Keeping water intake to no more than 32 ounces an hour will prevent this from happening.
4. The right gear. Appropriate apparel, hat, sunglass and sunscreen play an important role while running outdoors. Light colored, loose and lightweight clothing will help keep your body temperature down. Some good options are microfiber polyester and technical fabrics which pull away the moisture from the body.
5. Listen to your body. Most important advice is to pay attention to how you feel. Adjusting your workout to the conditions at hand will help make the run more bearable. Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. Slow down and let your body be your guide.