One of the many amazing things about living in New Hampshire is experiencing the four seasons, for some amount of time determined by Mother Nature. Unfortunately, for runners, that means having more running clothes and equipment than we know what to do with, as well as getting our bodies to adapt to the changing temperatures.
Here are 5 tips to keep you safe while running in the heat of summer:
- Stay Hydrated. Being hydrated for your run doesn’t mean that you only drink something right before you run. Staying hydrated every single day is important all year long, but especially in summer, when we sweat more. Drinking 60-80 oz of water a day will keep those headaches at bay, flushes out toxins, and keeps those muscles happy. The day prior to your long run be sure to alternate water with drinks that have electrolytes. You might want to consider carrying water with you on your run, or stashing it along the route you’ll run. If you feel thirsty, that’s a sign that you’re already dehydrated.
- Run Early or Late in the Day. Getting up before, or with, the sunrise when the day is at it’s coolest will keep you from melting in the high sun during a runch. If you’re only option is to run at your lunch break, opt for a treadmill indoors or find a shaded route. Running in the evening when the sun is low will also keep you from melting. The air might still be thick from the days heat, but you won’t have the sun beaming right on you. Our bodies typically warm up 15 to 20 degrees hotter than the outdoor temperature, so if it’s TOO hot, don’t run! Get some exercise in the pool or at the lake, or find another way to sweat-maybe you could use that gym membership you thought you’d use more than you actually do. One day of missing your run isn’t going to throw your training down the drain. An extra day of “rest” is better than heat stroke! If you set out to run a certain distance but start to feel sick or dizzy, it’s time to call it quits for the day! Also, don’t forget that SPF!
- Wear Cool Clothing. Stay away from cotton! It’s thick and doesn’t breathe as well, making you feel hotter than you need to feel. Wear light materials in lighter colors to keep you cool on the run. Also, be sure to wash those clothes sooner rather than later! Peeew!
- Use a Cooling Towel. You can buy the workout towels, that once wet, stay cool for a long periods of time, and wear this around your neck for those longer runs, or must run days. You can then splash your water on it along the way and it will keep you cooler.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat/visor. Keep the hot sun out of your face with sunglasses and a hat! You won’t have to squint, you won’t get a sunburn on your face and you’ll feel cooler. Be sure the hat is lighter material and breathable!