I think summer officially starts until the middle of June but the heat is already here and slowing everyone down. Since I’ve lived in the south my whole life I know summer like an old frenemy, that cruel mistress that is humidity and everything else that goes with it. I thought now would be a good time to give some tips and tricks for dealing with the heat. You cant escape it but being prepared will definitely help.
- First and most importantly make sure you have plenty of water. For shorter runs its still important especially if you go when the sun is out. Hydrate early and often.
2. Adding onto the water point, have water to cool yourself down. When I do my long runs I take my fuel belt with 3 small water bottles. 2 are filled with water and 1 is filled with gatorade. There are a few water fountains along my long run routes to refill those water bottles but I do douse my head and neck with water when i start getting warm. From experience, its never too soon to pour water on yourself, if you wait until your very warm you probably waited too long. Thank goodness for my running club that has water set out along our routes, that has saved me more than once during the summer.
3. Wear light and loose clothes. Tight fitting shorts or tops, for me at least, trap in the heat and make me too hot too fast. I wear things that let a breeze (if there is one) flow through it and help cool me down. I try and not wear my compression socks so as much of me has access to a breeze.
4. If you can wear a visor instead of a hat that would be best. A hat keeps all the heat from your head trapped and makes it difficult for that heat to escape. I know a lot of people prefer a hat but I prefer not to boil my brains lol
5. Run as early or as late as possible. If you can plan your runs to be done majority when the sun is down. Once the sun comes up so does the heat and so does the risk of heat stroke. Morning is better than night (the sun hasn’t baked the road all day) but I know that’s not always possible. Plus you can see some beautiful sunrises if you go early in the morning.
6. Be prepared to adjust your pace. Blah blah science but when the temps get above 80 you lose speed and that’s just the way it is. Accept that and don’t expect to see amazing super awesome paces or run times. There is a reason there are very few races during the summer months. This pic was from a 10k last June that kicked my ass with the heat.
7. Last but not least, listen to your body. If you feel your getting overheated stop and cool down. If you are feeling sick stop. Heat stroke is no joke so be careful and be mindful of whats going on with your body.
8. What would you add to this list? How does your body deal with the heat?