Six Tips for Running in the Heat

running-in-the-heat-featuredAs spring turns to sum­mer and the weath­er con­tin­ues to heat up, the climb­ing tem­per­a­ture might start to cramp your run­ning style. Heat and run­ning aren’t exact­ly the best of friends; the hot­ter the run, the high­er the chance of severe dehy­dra­tion and heat exhaus­tion. While you def­i­nite­ly shouldn’t take the high temps light­ly, there’s no need to let scorch­ing sum­mer days ruin your runs.

Here are some tips to keep you on your feet this summer:

1. Run early
The best time to run in order to beat the heat on a hot day is just before or as the sun is ris­ing. Depend­ing on where you are, of course, it should still be rel­a­tive­ly cool out­side (com­pared to how hot it might get dur­ing the day, any­way), mak­ing for the most opti­mal run­ning con­di­tions you’ll get all day. That hav­ing been said, if get­ting up ear­ly just isn’t prac­ti­cal for you, then head out just after the sun has set. Avoid run­ning between 10am and 4pm espe­cial­ly if it’s sun­ny, humid and extreme­ly hot outside.

2. Less is more
When the weath­er gets hot, you’re going to want to wear as lit­tle as you can. So strip down to what­ev­er you feel com­fort­able in, so long as it’s still a legal amount of cloth­ing, of course. Also, be sure to wear light-col­ored, loose-fit­ting, mois­ture-wick­ing clothing.

3. Stay hydrated
The typ­i­cal rule of thumb when run­ning in high­er than ide­al tem­per­a­tures is to be sure to drink about 6 ounces of liq­uid for every 15 min­utes of run­ning. So either car­ry water with you and make sure there are enough places to replen­ish your sup­ply or plan your route some­where with water foun­tains along the way. And if you’re run­ning a pret­ty long dis­tance, weigh your­self before the run and then again after—then drink at least a glass of water for every pound lost.

4. Pro­tect your skin and eyes
Be sure to slather on the sun­screen (with an SPF of at least 15) to pro­tect your skin from harm­ful rays, but make sure it’s a kind made to with­stand sweat. The last thing you want (besides a sun­burn, of course) is your sun­screen to drip into your eyes or just dis­si­pate as you sweat. And be sure to either wear some sort of visor or hat to shield your eyes or wear some good UVA/U­VB-fil­ter­ing sunglasses.

5. Think shade
When plan­ning your route, try to choose an area with either tall trees or build­ings to pro­vide some relief from direct sun­shine. The shade will both help your per­for­mance and feel a lot nicer.

6. Slow down
You’re not going to be able to run at full speed in warmer weath­er, espe­cial­ly if it’s also humid. It’s just not going to hap­pen. So cut your body some slack and slow your pace a bit to com­pen­sate for the fact that you’re not going to be able to go at 100 per­cent. And hey, take a short break if you need to.