Everything has to fit together for the perfect run. You need perfectly trained endurance, strong muscles, and of course the right running equipment. Then that euphoric runners-high experience can set in where you simply run away from the strain, feeling like you could keep going forever.
Running in the heat: what you should know
Hot summers can be tough for ambitious runners. Here are some tips how you can still make the best of it:
- Check the weather forecast.
During intense training, temperatures in excess of 80°F already mean a huge challenge to your body. From about 90°F you should do endurance sports only in the shade or in the water. Also avoid doing sports at all when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is over 200.
- Get yourself some healthy food.
Food that is rich in vitamins and minerals is even more important when it’s hot outside because you lose a lot of electrolytes while sweating. You should choose healthier foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Choose the right time.
During summer the temperatures usually are lowest in the early morning hours. Air pollution isn’t as high as during afternoon and evening. When you do run in the evening, start as late as possible.
- Don’t forget sun protection.
Wear sun protective clothing such as the Bauerfeind Sports Compression Sleeves for thighs, calves and arms which provide you with a UV Protection Factor of 80. Use a sunscreen for your face, neck and shoulders. For runs longer than 20 minutes wear a breathable running cap to protect your scalp.
- Enjoy a good drink.
If you properly hydrate by drinking enough water before running, you don’t have to take a bottle with you – at least, if you’re not running longer than an hour.
- Mind your clothing.
Wear shorts and a sleeveless functional shirt. The lighter, airier and brighter, the better.
- Keep on trying.
Acclimating to the heat may take a few days, but you should get used to the higher temperatures with exposure.
- Cool your body down.
Take a cold shower before the run. By doing so, you can lower your body’s temperature and start sweating later.
- Go slow.
Your performance decreases with high temperatures. If necessary reduce your training volume to about 50%.
- Avoid the sun.
Running in the shade can make a big difference in the effect the heat has on your performance.
- *BONUS TIP* Don’t go over your limit.
Play it safe! When you are suffering from headaches, stomach ache or cramps, you should stop your run immediately, look for shade and walk slowly.