Best Tips for Running in the Heat
It seems like every year we get in the midst of a heat wave and everyone hangs up their running shoes for a few weeks. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I'm no stranger to the crazy hot temps and strangling humidity. You can still run! You just need to be smart about it and do a little extra planning.
Follow these tips below to get the most out of your summer running:
- Keep it easy. Maybe forget the quarter mile repeats or intense hill intervals until it cools off a bit. Stay at your regular pace and pay attention to how you feel. If you're feeling great, take it up a notch. If you're really feeling the heat, give your body a break and cut it short.
- Hydrate!! You should be hydrating throughout the week as well as during your runs. Building up your fluids during the week will give you a good baseline for when you go out on those hot days. Drink 17-20 oz at least 2 hours before your run. Try not to chug water right before your run or you'll be making some pit stops. Everyone sweats and burns energy differently so it's difficult to say a general recommendation for the amount needed while running but start with 4-6 oz every 20-30 minutes. Another good rule is to drink when thirsty. Remember to hydrate afterwards and to incorporate electrolytes to replenish what was lost.
- Head out early. Going out first thing will keep you away from those peak sun hours. You should get the coolest temperatures of the day and some shade along the way. Stay away from middle of the day runs.
- Wear light clothing. Think tanks, singlets, and shorts. Try to find breathable fabric, with mesh or vents. Don't forget to add in a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Get on the trail. Staying out of the inner city and off concrete will help you stay cooler on your runs. Try finding some shaded areas on a local trail or greenway. The trees will help you stay cool and will make for a beautiful run.
The most important part is to listen to your body and don't over do it. Running in the peak summer heat will slow you down and humble the best runners out there. Remember to have fun with it and just take your time. Enjoy!
-Lauren White Davis