Running During Warm Weather
It’s almost the summertime and with that comes hot and humid days. If you are looking to keep your outdoor cardio workouts going during the summer, here are some tips to beat the heat!
The best time to run during warm summer days is to run early in the morning or late at night. Try to avoid running during the peak heat of the day where your body runs the risk of dehydration.
The intensity of your runs should be reduced especially during your first couple summer runs where you’re exposed to high temperatures. Reducing the intensity of the runs will allow the body to slowly become acclimated to the high temperatures before ramping it back up again. It will take about 7 to 14 days of repeated exposure to the heat to increase the body’s blood volume which will help regulate body temperature more efficiently.
Hydration is crucial to a runner’s ability to combat the heat. It would be ideal to consume 10 to 15 full ounces of water before a run and 6 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during the duration of the run.
Try to avoid running on days where the temperature is over 98.6 degrees and the humidity is over 70 to 80 percent. Your body temperature is regulated by sweat evaporation off the skin. If the humidity that you’re running in is too high this prevents sweat from evaporating and can cause the body to overheat.
Try to run in shade and apply the proper sunscreen to the areas of the body that will face sun exposure including your face, neck, arms and legs. You should wear protective UVA/UVB to protect your eyes and dress with light colored clothing. Dark colored clothing with attract the sun light and cause your body to overheat at a much quicker rate.
Try to route your runs carefully so that you are nearby stores, parks with water fountains or restaurants so that you can grab a sip of water throughout your run.
During a warm weather run it’s important to listen to your body. If you start to feel faint or dizzy, are sweating uncontrollably, have cool, pale, clammy skin, become nauseous or start vomiting, have a rapid or weak pulse or you start to have muscle cramps you are experiencing heat exhaustion and you need to quickly get to a cooler location, and consume water and let your body cool down. If you have a throbbing headache, aren’t sweating, have red, hot, dry skin, are nauseous or vomiting and have a rapid, strong pulse, you need to call 911 immediately and ask someone around you for help cooling your body down as you are having heat stroke and might lose consciousness.
Hope these tips will allow you to be prepared to beat the heat during your summer run.
- Sean N., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health