I bring you this post on one of the most sweltering weeks I think the Mid Atlantic has experienced in awhile. High 90s (but I swear my car says 100 every day) with very high humidity. As much as I love the outdoors, days like these make me want to hide away in my “comfortable” 68° (and below) house. But unfortunately, fall races and training prohibit this from happening, some of the time. If you are like me, you may have just began training for a fall marathon (Richmond!) or another race such as a half marathon, Tough Mudder, 5k, whatever it may be. Below are some of the ways I suggest beating the heat and not letting it beat you!!
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE- This doesn’t just mean during your run and outdoor workout. Stay hydrated throughout the day, as well. I am be the pot calling the kettle black since I am the worst water drinker ever. Sometimes, I don’t realize until later in the afternoon that I haven’t had a sip of anything liquid ALL DAY. So hopefully putting this little fact about me out there may keep me accountable for sticking to this tip too! Also and if at all possible, try strategically placing water bottles along your route or do multiple loops around your neighborhood and stopping at your house to hydrate every mile or so.
- Move Indoors- Most runners hate the treadmill. I actually don’t. I hate extreme weather conditions such as frigid winter days and sweltering summer days. I trained entirely on a treadmill for a half marathon (through the winter) a few years ago and PR’ed! Sometimes you just need to take it indoors. Do it for your well being! The treadmill can be great for speed work but i don’t really recommend it for long runs unless your RunEMZ. She is amazing and will be running for 24 hours straight ON A TREADMILL in September. Check out some of my indoor cardio workouts and if you need any more suggestions, I know tons of treadmill speed workouts!
- Listen to your body- Make sure to read the signs your body is giving you when you are outside. I have seen many news stories this week about people suffering heat exhaustion and heat stroke and it’s scary! According to WebMD, some signs to look for are: confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, and pale skin. Unfortunately, I feel like I experience half of these symptoms on a regular run. Just remember to pay special attention since you are out in very hot temperatures.
- Plan your runs accordingly- If you know you HAVE to (cough want to cough) run outside on a day that is forecasted to be super hot and humid, plan to run very early in the morning or later in the evening. These times are obviously cooler than your mid day temps.
- Leave your ego (and your Garmin) at home- Today is not the day to PR or see how fast you can run. If you are planning to run in the heat, run at a comfortable pace. Sorry to burst your bubble but this pace is going to be slower than you are used to. Unless you live in 100 degree heat and humidity all the time, your body has most likely not adjusted to it. Slow down!
- Run naked- No, I am not serious but make sure to wear lightweight, sweat-wicking clothes. If you are comfortable, I suggest shorts and a sports bra (no shirt for the guys) or tank top. You are already going to be hot. Make sure not to wear clothes that are going to make you feel ever hotter!!
- Don’t forget the sunscreen- Although this may not make your run any cooler, you will be happy the following day when you’ll only be nursing some sore legs rather than a lobster red body and face as well. Most of the time people don’t realize how much the sun has an impact even on a short 20-30 minute runs. I ran for 25 minutes the other day and was burnt before I walked in the door. Slather it on before you head out the door people!
I am sure this is just a refresher and most are common sense but it’s a useful reminder. We still have a few more months of heat and some pavement that needs pounding.
What am I missing? Let me know some other good tips!