Hot Weather Running – Revisited
Alisa Harvey wrote this great article last summer and we thought it would be good to republish it as a refresher as we enter the hotter months of summer! Happy running.
Running in cold weather can prompt a person to layer-up with warm clothing to block the frigid air from ruining a workout. Even still a workout or run may just be cut short because of frozen fingers or toes. Or maybe just a track workout is altered because of the cold. The warm running gear may be heavy and cumbersome, but you manage to get the training in. Unfortunately, a runner does not have the same option of adjusting for cold weather as they do for hot weather. You can layer-up for the cold, but you can’t take anything off for the heat.
A body will begin to overheat quickly while engaged in physical activity on days when there is a high heat index warning. High humidity will intensify the heat condition by creating a high heat index. It is the heat index which is so important in regulating healthy outdoor activity. A runner should pay attention to heat index numbers before venturing out to train. A well-prepared runner maybe able to stay safe during high heat days if they adhere to warnings and use common sense.
Don’t wear vinyl “sweat” suits
Years ago someone thought it would be a good idea to invent a plastic sweat suit that had long sleeves and pants. The idea was that if you sweat a good deal in these vinyl suits you will lose weight. Those people who are drawn to the idea that sweating profusely while they run is good for you are misinformed. The fact is that wearing the vinyl “sweat” suits can be dangerous. Your body is liable to overheat, cramp, become nauseous, dizzy, light-headed and eventually show signs of late stage of heat illness.
Avoid mid-day running
During the high heat index warning days do your training runs before 10AM and after 5PM. The sun is less intense during the early and late sunlight hours.
Acclimate your body to hot temperatures
Gradually allow your body to adjust to the high temperatures of summer. Even being out in the garden during the day will acclimate your body to warmer temps. Do short walks during the midday heat in order to allow your body to adapt.
Carry an ice cooler with you to training sessions and competitions
Ice is an ideal way to cool off the body during times of over-heating. During a track workout rub ice on your wrists, neck, and arms between intervals. Before races carry a small bag of ice with you to the starting line. Apply the ice to your body while you stand on the starting line. Toss the bag and the ice just before the start of the race.
Drink more fluids
Water is the primary drink of choice for hot weather maintenance, but don’t drink only water, and not too much water; ask your doctor how much water is too much. A runner does need the added minerals of a sports drink. In addition, a sports drink will assist in the absorption of water into the body.
Wear a hat or visor and sunglasses
A hat or a visor will keep the sun off of your face keeping the warm sun’s rays from warming the skin. The visor also acts as a protector for your eyes. Sunglasses are important in preventing sun damage to your eyes.
Wear breathable synthetic running clothes
Avoid cotton clothing on hot weather days. As you perspire the cotton will absorb the sweat. Your cotton clothes may irritate your skin and cause blisters.