I love and hate summer running.
Pounding the pavement in hot and humid conditions gives the satisfaction of sweating and enjoying the sunshine, but the frustration of not hitting certain speeds because the muscles work so hard can be annoying.
Running in the heat can be challenging for a number of reasons. First, the heat can be taxing on the body and can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Second, it forces runners to recalibrate performance expectations, which can be mentally difficult as well.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Avoid hottest part of the day
- Wear light-colored clothing
- Apply sunscreen
- Take breaks often
- Slow down your pace
- Signs of heat exhaustion
- Run on cooler surfaces
- Carry a water bottle
- Use a cooling towel or ice pack
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods
- Plan your route in advance
- Bring a friend
- Make sure your cellphone is fully charged
- Leave early
- Check weather forecast
- Have fun!
Listed below, I’ve put together 17 tips to help you stay safe and get the most out of your hot weather runs.
Drink plenty of fluidsCheck out hydration belt on Amazon
Your body is mostly water, so it’s no surprise that you need to drink fluids to keep it running properly. When you run, you lose water through sweat and need to replenish it to avoid dehydration.
Dehydration can cause a number of problems, including cramps, fatigue, and lightheadedness. Drinking before, during, and after your run will help you stay properly hydrated so you can perform your best.
Avoid hottest part of the day
There are a few reasons to avoid running during the hottest part of the day.
Heat can be dangerous. Heat stroke is a real risk when exercising in high temperatures, and even healthy people can be affected. Consider running in the morning or evening.
Training in high temperatures can make running feel much harder than it actually is. You might not be able to give your best effort or reach your goals when running in the heat.
As always, drink plenty of fluids and be sure to take a break if you start to feel overheated.
You will want to read the benefits of running in cold weather>>
Wear light-colored clothing
Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing helps keep you cool in hot weather. The light colors reflect the heat away from your body, and the loose fit allows air to circulate around your skin, helping to keep you cool.
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They also help protect your skin from the sun. The light colors help reflect the sun’s rays away from your skin, and the loose fit helps keep your skin from getting too hot.
There is a performance running gear specifically designed to help prevent heat exhaustion, keep your body temperature down, and be comfortable.
Applying sunscreen to exposed skin when running at high temperatures helps to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging.
Wearing sunscreen also helps to prevent heat rash and other skin problems that can be caused by exposure to the sun and heat.
My favorite sport sunscreen is EltaMD UV Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen. It’s not the cheapest, but my skin is worth it.
When you sweat, your skin releases toxins and your pores open up, making you more susceptible to sun damage. So, it’s important to choose a sunscreen that won’t clog your pores and will stay on your skin even when you sweat.
There are a few things to look for in sweat-proof sunscreen.
It should be oil-free, so it won’t clog your pores.
It should be waterproof and sweatproof, so it won’t come off when you sweat.
And finally, it should contain ingredients that help to soothe and protect your skin, such as aloe vera or green tea extract.
Take breaks often
Running in high temperatures can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Make sure to take breaks often and find a shady spot to cool down to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Slow down your pace
It is important to slow down your pace and not try to push yourself too hard when running in high temperatures because your body will not be able to cool itself as effectively and you could overheat.
Pushing yourself too hard in high temperatures can also lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can be dangerous. It is important to listen to your body and slow down if you start to feel overheated.
Signs of heat exhaustion
Heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The body’s temperature-regulating mechanisms are overwhelmed, and the body cannot cool itself.
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Know the symptoms of heat stroke. They include flushed skin, high body temperature, rapid heartbeat, headache, dizziness, and nausea. If left untreated, heat stroke can lead to organ damage, coma, and death.
Treatment for heat stroke involves cooling the body as quickly as possible. This can be done by immersing the person in cool water, applying ice packs to the armpits and groin, or using a fan to circulate air.
Run on cooler surfaces
Hot weather can make running feel harder than it actually is. When it’s hot outside, your body has to work harder to cool itself, which means you get tired more quickly.
Running on hot surfaces, like asphalt, can cause you to fatigue much quicker. When possible, try to run on grass or concrete when possible.
Carry a water bottle
When running in hot weather, it is important to stay hydrated in order to avoid heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.
- Ultra-light, ergonomic configuration allows hands to relax in a natural position – Eliminates round bottle hand cramping/tension
- Jett-Squeeze cap for leak-free quick shot hydration; Quick-adjust no-slip strap
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, will help keep your body temperature down and prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Use a cooling towel or ice pack
A cooling towel or ice pack can be a great way to keep your body temperature down when running in the heat. Wet the towel or ice pack and then wring it out so that it is damp. Place it around your neck or on your head. You can also place the towel or ice pack in a freezer for a few minutes before using it so that it is extra cold.
Avoid sugary drinks and foods
When running in hot weather, it is important to avoid sugary drinks and foods. Sugary drinks can cause dehydration and can also lead to cramping. In addition, sugary foods can cause gastrointestinal distress.
Plan your route in advance
When running in hot weather, it is important to plan your route ahead of time. This will allow you to avoid running in the heat of the day and to find a route that has shade or is near a body of water. Planning your route ahead of time will also allow you to make sure you have enough water with you for your run.
Bring a friend
There are several benefits to running with a friend or partner when the weather is hot. They provide motivation to keep going when it would be easy to quit. It’s more enjoyable and can help pass the time. Finally, it’s safer because there is someone to watch out for signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration.
Make sure your cellphone is fully charged
When running in hot weather, it is important to have your phone fully charged in case you need to call for help. If you become overheated or dehydrated, you may need to call 911 for medical assistance.
Additionally, a fully charged phone can be used as a GPS device to help you stay on course and find your way back if you get lost. If you are running in an unfamiliar area, a charged phone can give you peace of mind in case of an emergency.
When running in hot weather, it is important to give yourself plenty of time so you don’t have to rush. Rushing can lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, both of which can be dangerous.
By giving yourself plenty of time, you can take breaks as needed and stay hydrated. This will help you avoid any potential health risks and will also make your run more enjoyable.
Check weather forecast
Understanding the upcoming weather conditions is important when running in hot weather because it can help you plan your route and avoid areas that are likely to be hotter than others.
Checking the weather forecast can also help you dress appropriately for the conditions. Wearing light, loose-fitting clothing can help you stay cooler in hot weather.
When running in hot weather it’s important to take breaks when needed. It’s not the time to be pushing for a personal best. While running in intense heat can be tough, it’s important to take it easy, stay hydrated and have fun!
FAQ – Running in the heat
How to hydrate before a run?
When to run on extremely hot days?
Try not to run from 10 am to 4:30 pm when the sun is most intense. During this time, if you need to train, use a safe path.
Early morning is the coolest period of the day as road temperatures are low during the day. It must be taken to be safe at all times. Run without headphones and wear safety equipment.
Claudia Faucher is a full-time fitness training expert and lifestyle blogger. She is also been a certified Les Mills BodyPump instructor for the past 5 years and a fitness instructor for over 20 years. Claudia is a personal trainer and creates fitness training programs for seniors and people of all ages. She likes to use her skills and experiences to help others on their fitness journeys.
Last update on 2022-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API