How to Run in the Heat
With the summer months approaching, many of us will be experiencing warmer temperatures soon.
Just as the seasonal cooling require a different approach to outdoor training, the warmer months require some training and mindset modifications.
Adjust Your Pace Expectations
The 50 degree range is typically optimal running temperature, any more or any less and your pace may decrease. Know that this is going to happen and most importantly be ok with it. If you regularly training cooler weather, adjust your goal pace if you have a warmer race. If you regularly train in warmer weather, a cooler race may feel easier and you may run a bit faster than expected. The above example for an 8:00 pace at 50*F suggests as much as a 15% difference between your pace at 50*F and 80*F!
Run in the Morning or Evenings
This is going to be the best option for you to effectively and safely run. When the sun is down you and the temperatures at their lowest, you’ll be able to run with losing the least amount of body fluids and you’ll be able to run fastest at the same effort level. If you’re not able to perform all runs when the sun is set, at least doing your hardest and longest workouts at this time will help. Training in the heat will hinder your ability to run fast, which may decrease the stimulation for adaptation.
You Must Hydrate
Special care must be taken in regards to your hydration needs while training or racing in the heat. Taking in extra fluids prior to a run can help prevent or delay fatigue during the run or dehydration headaches after the run. An electrolyte drink such as Nuun before running can also help alleviate hydration issues.
Cleaning the Gear
In especially hot or humid environments, the excessive sweat may soak everything from your cap to your shoes. We typically recommend washing shoes and gear with the most gentle method possible. When you come back from a run and your shoes are drenched, simply taking them into the shower, washing them there, and letting them air dry will be the best method from preventing sweat from accumulating in the shoe and smelling them up.
Running in the morning or evening is the best method of protecting the skin from sun damage, however if this is not possible wearing long sleeves is also a great method to keep the sun’s rays off of your skin. You can even purchase skin cooler sleeves to wear with your regular t-shirts.
Many view running indoors as a form of torture, however if it’s 100*F outside it may be the best option for you. You may even be able to find an indoor track to use, however treadmill is a great way to run a quality or easy workout within the comforts of a gym.
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