I was thinking this evening as I was running in the blazing heat that I have not shared any running tips with you all in months. With today being the first day of summer and with summer, arrives heat I thought it would be a good time to share some running advice I have uncovered. Heat happens to be the greatest offender to all runners, due to the fact that heat causes two negative factors……overheating and dehydrations.
There is a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo that explains how your body heats and cools itself, but the bottom line is overheating occurs when the body cannot keep up with the demands of the evaporation of water from your skin. In order to avoid overheating you should give your body at least two weeks to adapt to the heat. During this adapting phase your pace and intensity need to be reduced. Your goal is simply to get your run in not to set a record pace, in order to train your body to cool itself in warmer weather. It is also essential to wear light colored, loose fitting wicking running gear. If running in the morning or late evening is conducive to your schedule you will avoid the heat, however you may encounter higher humidity. For those of you who live in Oklahoma, Texas, DC or any other states that have heat alert days it may be wise to simply take your training indoors on those days.
Dehydration is the second factor that plagues runners during the hotter months. Water is important to all of us runners or non-runners alike. However if plans for your day consist of a run in the heat it is recommended you drink 8oz of water per hour throughout the day. Make sure you also consume water or a sports drink during your run. For any runs shorter than 45 mins. water will suffice however if your run will be longer it is suggested to consume a cup of sports drink every 15-20 min. in order to fuel your muscles and aid in maintaining electrolyte levels. It is always good to remember that if you are thirsty you are already low on fluids. There are many different indication of dehydration a couple being…..a high heart rate during and after your run in addition to golden-colored urine. It is imperative that you continue drinking fluids after your run until your urine is clear.
Running in the warmer weather is not always bad, just take the appropriate precautions.