Staying Prepared During the Heat
If you’re new to running, summer can be one of the harshest times to run. But, training in the heat has some of the biggest rewards and gains. Here are ways to prepare for those hot runs, so you don’t burn out!
1. Stay hydrated all day.
It’s important to stay hydrated all day, especially for summer weather. Drinking water, fruit juices, or sports drinks can help keep you hydrated through a later run. Post-run, try to drink a fruit juice, vegetable juice, chocolate milk, or a smoothie to help replenish fluids, electrolytes, proteins, and carbs after a run.
2. Wear the appropriate gear.
Get some nice running gear–socks, shirts, shorts, a hat, sunglasses–made for summer. Usually you’ll find great materials with mesh or wicking properties that can help you keep cool. Though it can be more expensive than a regular cotton T-shirt, the new gear will keep you inspired to run.
In addition to the right clothing, wearing sunscreen is important. Some runners even prefer to wear thin, long sleeves to reduce their exposure to the sun.
3. Start early (or really late).
You can beat a the heat by starting your run early in the morning, before the sun rises. Not only can it be a refreshing start to your day, but it can also be the coolest part before the temperatures rise. In contrast, running at night is another way to stay cool in the summer, but remember to wear reflective gear and run on well-lit streets to stay safe and visible.
4. Take a rest day.
Summer running can be especially draining, even for the most experienced runner. It’s important to not push through the heat, especially when temperatures are high. When those days come, it’s a perfect opportunity to take a rest day, and exercise indoors or do something low-key and cool (like swimming). If you do go out for a run, start slowly: it’s natural for the body to start slow and have slower times during the heat. If you begin to feel dizzy or more tired than normal, it’s time to turn around. These are warning signs of a heat stroke, and it’s better to avoid that zone before it starts.
This post is part of a two-part series on running in the summer for beginners. Stay tuned for next week’s post, when we’ll talk about staying inspired to run through the heat!