Aww Summer! I love the balmy days when I can shed layers of clothing for a simple sports bra, T-shirt, and shorts. But I dread the heat and excessive sweating, bugs flying in my eyes and nose, and sticking to my skin. I’ve been running most of my life and still find acclimating to summer heat daunting. But I learned over the years how to run safely during hot, humid days. There are items to consider during summer runs—sunscreen, shades, and depending on where you running, insect repellant. So how do I deal with the heat and excessive sweating of summer workouts? I take it easy. My pace during the summer is much slower than cooler seasons. For you die-hard runners I know you’re aware of the facts of summer running but it never hurts to reiterate tips to make summer running safe and fun.
- Run during the coolest hours of the day – Early Morning Running: Besides being coolest time of the day, morning running can boost your energy for the rest of the day. Morning runners were shown to stick to their routines in the long run. Ok, so you’re not a morning runner. With the long summer days try an evening run with a friend or join a running group.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Can’t stress enough how important fluid intake is. Even if you’re not thirsty drink at least 8 fluid ounces of water each hour. If your workout is longer than 60 minutes you might want to use sports drinks to replenish electrolytes. But be conscious of your sugar intake. Hydration will improve your run and help your body cool efficiently.
- Acclimate To Heat: Test your body by taking it nice and slow for the first couple of weeks of summer. Adjust your pace gradually as your body acclimates to the heat which normally takes 10 to 14 days.
- Light-Colored Clothing: Light colored clothing reflects the sun rays better than darker clothing. Try sports-specific synthetics over cotton for wicking sweat.
- Sunscreen: Protect your body against skin cancer and skin damage by wearing sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
- Cover your head: A light mesh cap will allow ventilation and shades your face from the sun.
- Pace yourself: Starting slow will allow you to run longer and prevent overheating too quickly. If you normally run a seven-minute mile pace, run your first mile at a 9 or 10-minute pace.
Enjoy your summer training!