Here are 8 things to keep in mind when running in the heat:
Make adjustments: Limit your workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with shade. Start your workout slower than you usual. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to take it up a bit.
Wear as little as possible: Only wear clothes that are lightweight and breathable. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good choices. Be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Limit use of alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to pee, compounding your risk of dehydration.
Drink water and sport drink: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink or water an hour before you head out. Then drink five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.
Be patient: Give yourself several days acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.
Try to find shade: It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening.
Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.
Head out early or late: Even in the worst heat wave, it cools off significantly by dawn. Get your run done then, and you’ll feel good about it all day. Can’t fit it in? Wait until evening, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong—just don’t do it so late that it keeps you from getting to sleep.
Stop by your local Sun & Ski to get all your hot weather running gear!!