What Every Runner Should Know Before Running in Heat
Because of the humidity and heat , most runners wouldn’t pick summer as their favorite season for running. They face the challenge of running in temperatures that can sometimes stop us from going out to run at all, or run the risk of dehydration. There are quite a few things that you can do to run safely in this heat and vital to keeping you safe!
Drink a Water Bottle First
Hydration is key. If you’re getting ready to run for an hour or less, drink an 8-ounce water bottle, says D. Michael Kelly, a physical therapist at NovaCare Rehabilitation in Chicago and running instructor at Shred415 who’s clocked 15 marathons. If you’re training for a long race (think half-marathon or more) and heading out for a run that’ll last longer than an hour, drink 16 ounces of water first, starting 30 minutes before you start.
Don’t Drink in Excess
Hydrate throughout your run, too, but don’t overdo it: There’s a big difference between overhydration and proper hydration, Kelly says. To tell if you’re hydrating properly, weigh yourself before and after your run. “You should actually lose weight during your run, but people who drink too much water will gain weight,” he says. (Overhydration is bad news because it could cause hyponatremia, a lack of salt in the body.) Ideally, you’ll lose two to five percent of your weight. Don’t get too excited, though. It’s water weight that’ll come back as you refuel.
Leave the Sweat on Your Face
Sweat is your body’s way of keeping you cool. If you wipe it away, you’ll be wiping the cooling benefits away from your forehead and onto the sidewalk below, Kelly says. You can also keep your body temperature in check by taking a cold shower before you head out, he says. That buys you time before your body starts feeling the heat.
Minimize Your Sun Exposure
To delay the heating-up process, go for wicking materials in light colors that don’t absorb the sun. Add a hat or a visor for a one-two punch of blocking the bright sun and reducing your skin’s contact with its rays. “Less skin in contact with the sun means you won’t warm up as fast,” Kelly says.
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