Summer is here – a time for pools and beaches and…. 90 degree weather and….running IN this weather. Of course, you can hide in an air-conditioned gym on a nice treadmill, but you hate treadmills, right? I get it. Too hot to run outside and too boring on a treadmill, or “dreadmill”, as it may be?
We can’t take the whole summer off, especially if we have some big races coming up in the fall. So let’s compromise by running prudently.
1. Please wear ‘wicking’ material shirts, singlets and shorts; cotton just weighs you down and can even cause unneeded chafing
2. Run in the morning or late at night: Every degree more than what is comfortable for you, makes the run less efficient as you work much harder than needed
3. Bring fluids, preferably with some electrolytes. I tend to avoid chemical drinks like the popular “ade” drinks, but you can find others that are more natural and better for you while accomplishing the same purpose.
4. Buddy up: as I stated with winter running, bring a friend if you know it may be too hot. It is better to have someone to talk to as well as someone to help you in case something happens.
5. Plan your course: If it is too hot and you run in a treeless course, you are just asking for trouble. Find shady courses for these purposes.
6. Bring a phone, especially if by yourself: This safety tip is mandatory, especially since we all have cell phones these days. You never know when you cramp up or get hit by an aggressive driver…..
7. Finally, listen to your body: You can do all the above correctly, but it still may be too hot or humid for you that day. Slow Down or cut it short. There is no shame – just start again the next day.
I hope you get through the summer without mishap – remember, running is fun!!! Never make it a job. I always tell my runners to smile when they are hurting or not feeling great – it does make a big difference.