Summer is a great time to run, but the heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your running pace.
The warmer the weather, the more challenging it becomes to adequately cool your body. Heart rates are higher and breathing is more rapid than your normal running pace. In other words, your body is working double time.
But fear not, summer runners. There are a few tricks for beating the heat and getting in your runs this summer.
1 – Switch gears & adapt
It takes about two weeks for your body to adapt to the heat and cool itself more efficiently. Slow your pace and reduce your intensity and get the run in rather than pushing through it. Doing so will allow you to more efficiently acclimate and continue to run. Your body will gradually become better at cooling itself in the warmer weather allowing you to continue to run at your normal pace.
2 – Work with the heat
Run by your effort level rather than your typical pace until you acclimate. If you are new to running, add power walk breaks every 4 to 8 mins to cool yourself during your runs. It is all about managing your body core temperature and not allowing it to rise too much, risking overheating and really slowing down. Like a car, if the temperature rises too high you will overheat.
3 – Accessorise
Wear light coloured & loose fitting running gear. Technically apparel will allow moisture to pass through them to be evaporated, keeping you cooler. Wear sunglasses that filter UVA & UVB rays, waterproof sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin & eyes from the sun.
4 – Timing is everything
Run at cooler times of the day in the morning or evening. If you run in the morning, you’ll avoid the heat, but may encounter a higher humidity. The air quality is also better in the morning, since ozone levels increase soon after dawn, peak at midday, and then again in the early evening. Times to avoid running are noon till 3pm.
5 – Extreme measures
If there is a heat alert or poor air quality, take your workout indoors. You won’t get any super-human reward for pushing in dangerous heat and it will most likely take your body longer to recover.
6 – Train smart
Hydrate during your workouts. For workouts shorter than 45 minutes, water works just fine. For longer runs, research suggests consuming about a cup pf sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes to fuel your muscles and aid in maintaining electrolyte levels.
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