6 tips for running in the heat

21 July 2019

Fitness

If you love to run but are caught in hot weather, you are probably wondering how to run in the heat without just overheating in the first few minutes.

Running is a great way to get your heart rate up, prevent disease, relieve stress and so much more. And just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that you have to avoid running in high temperatures altogether.

So let’s go on to learn some ways to help with running in the heat.

Tips for running in the heat

Hydrate well.

Hydration is crucial every day, and especially so when running in the heat for optimal performance and safety. Be sure to hydrate properly, avoid over-hydrating, and also replenish your electrolytes (sodium, chloride, calcium magnesium, etc.).

Time your run according to the temperature.

The hottest part of the day is between 10am to 3pm, so you want to avoid running during this time. Most people in hotter climates find that running during the morning when the heat hasn’t had the chance to zap their energy makes for the best run.

Pro tip: Find out how to improve your breathing while running.

Plan your route ahead of time.

Take the time to plan a route that gets plenty of shade coverage and isn’t on hot concrete or other surfaces that absorb and reflect heat.

Take time to acclimate to the heat.

If you are just visiting somewhere that has higher temperatures than you are used to, take time to acclimate to the heat so that your body can adjust to the hot environment. This way, you have a better chance of avoiding heat cramps and pushing your body before it’s had a proper chance to acclimate.

Manage expectations for your run.

Running in extreme heat or visiting a place with higher temperatures means that it is important to not think you will be able to run as hard and for as long as you would while in your usual environment. Pay attention to the signs your body gives you while you run, take breaks, find shade, adjust your running time and completely cut it short if need be.

Wear appropriate running attire.

While running in the summer heat, you want to deflect the sun’s rays, enable your body to cool down, and protect your skin. You can do so with loose fitting clothing such as a light-colored long sleeve made of wicking material. Be sure to also wear sweat-proof sunscreen to prevent sun damage and avoid any extra overheating from a sunburn!

While it can be tempting to maintain your normal exercise or running routine even when the summer heat comes in, it is important to make accommodations so that you can still get an effective workout in but also stay safe.

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