Running in the Heat

As I've mentioned before, I am a jogger and I just started training for an August 5K. Today it is HOT here in Northern Indiana. There is actually a heat advisory in effect. But today is my running day. So what do I do?

I found a few tips I'll have to keep in mind today if I decide to run in this heat.

  • Of course, stay hydrated with plenty of water.
  • Choose light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. Also, synthetic fabrics will help wick moisture away from skin better than cotton and help cool your body. I've got a few of these shirts so I'll make sure I keep them for extra-hot days.
  • Run early or late. This makes sense. I'm not a morning person so the other night I waited until 8 p.m. to run and it was much cooler.
  • Wear sunscreen. Check! I do this every afternoon, whether it's sunny out or not.
  • Don't push it. This tip says sometimes you have to scale back your performance goals when the heat is too much. This can be hard when you know you only have so many days to prepare for a race, but health comes first!
  • Make a Splash. If overheating, splash water on your face while running. Good tip, but I don't carry water with me because I don't usually go for that long or that far. I would definitely carry something with me if I was out for an hour or more.
  • Be Educated. Very good tip! You should know the signs of heat problems so you can recognize them in yourself or training partners.

Signs of heat problems include: feeling faint, dizzy, disoriented, actually stopping sweating, or your skin turning cool and clammy. If you (or your buddy) experience any of these, slow down or stop running. If they get worse, sit down in the shade and get some help.

You can always stay inside and do a workout DVD in the air conditioning! But for those training for an event, finding ways to beat the heat help to stay on track and conditioned for that upcoming race.

Do you have any tips for hot-weather exercising? We'd love to hear from you.

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