As the outdoor thermometer continues to rise, it doesn’t take long to figure out that running in the heat gets harder and harder. On most days with the temperature in the mid to upper 90’s and the humidity also just as high, I feel like I’m drowning in the thick, potato soup-like air.
Here are few things I’ve learned about running in the heat and humidity.
*Run early morning or late evenings. My first choice would be to run pre-7 am, but in reality that’s usually not possible. The temperature is obviously not as hot and the humidity not quite so thick. But if you can’t, wait until late evening when the sun is not sitting so high in the clouds and you can shelter in some shade if you need to.
*Wear the proper clothing. Lightweight, breathable layers is best. Wicking layers allows for evaporation and therefore keeps you cooler. Also wear a visor instead a cap…covering your head completely holds the heat in and will make you hotter.
I prefer shorts specific for running with the built in liner. Just feels like it breathes better and keeps me cooler.
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*Hydrate. Dehydration is the enemy and will quickly leave you feeling lethargic and is also dangerous! While it’s important to drink water during your run, it just as important to tank up before you even begin your run! A good rule of thumb is for a 30 minute or less run drinking water should be fine, but longer runs will require electrolyte replacement.
*Take walk breaks. Especially in the heat, it’s okay to slow down and walk. With your body overheating with an increase in activity, take walk breaks to give it a rest and time to cool down.
*Run shorter distances. In the recent hot weather, I’ve trimmed my distance down to an average of 2 miles instead of 3-4 that I normally try to run. I don’t want to give up my running completely so running shorter distances but more frequently seems to help.
*Slow down. I know, I just said run shorter distances and on this run I logged 3.13 miles. BUT notice how very slow I ran it! Running at this much slower pace (12:08) kept me going for the full distance.
*Try to run with someone. It’s best to have a running partner with you just in case you get into trouble and overheat….or collapse in a near-death coma and need someone to carry you. 😉
*Know where the water is. As funny as that sounds, it’s true! Whether it be at home or on vacation, I can tell you where each auto-sprinkler system and water faucet is! My motivation to keep going is to get to that water!
And if all else fails, you can always cool off like Hank does by going for a full swim!
Happy Running and stay cool!
Note: I originally posted this in July, 2011 and thought it was more than appropriate to re-post it again July 2012!! It’s still hot!