Tips for Running in Hot Weather, how to stay cool running in hot weather, Sunrise Running Company

How to Run in Hot Weather

Depending on where you live, summer weather is either already here, or it’s on the way. Summer heat is no reason to stop your outdoor training. However, you may need to adjust your training routine if you will be running in hot weather. Just like you changed your wardrobe and running habits in the winter, you’ll need to change them in the summer as well. Learn how to stay cool running in hot weather with these tips.

 

Tips for running in hot weather

If you have ever exercised in hot weather, you already know what to expect. You will sweat more than usual, and you will get hotter faster. Plenty of people don’t enjoy being hot and sweaty, but others don’t mind it too much. If you absolutely cannot stand to be extra hot and sweaty, you may need to incorporate more gym workouts into your summer routine. For everyone else, here are some tips to stay healthy and comfortable while running in hot weather.

 

Hydration during the summer months

While running during the summer months, your biggest concern should be proper hydration. When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes. When you lose water and electrolytes, your body starts to slow down and stop functioning properly. Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe.

Dehydration can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Loss of consciousness

Fortunately, there are plenty of mild dehydration symptoms to get your attention before the severe ones become a problem. If you notice signs of dehydration while you are training, you need to address them. Don’t let dehydration get the better of you!

With a little planning, it’s easy to stay properly hydrated.

Drink water:

Drink water before, during, and after your runs. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day as well. Many people, especially new runners, forget to drink water during the day. Instead, they lean heavily on sodas and coffee during the day, and then they get dehydrated during their evening runs. If you will be running in hot weather, incorporate more water into your daily life.

Add electrolytes:

If you’re sweating a lot, add some electrolytes to your diet during the run or right after the run. Electrolytes are minerals that should exist in your body, but they come out when you sweat. Electrolytes include minerals like sodium, potassium, and calcium. There are plenty of electrolyte-filled sports drinks and energy gels on the market. Find one that you like and work it into your routine.

RELATED: Energy Gels for Running: The What, When, & Why Guide

Avoid hangovers:

Having a hangover will negatively affect your run, but you might not realize just how dehydrated you are during a hangover. Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates your body. This is part of the reason you might wake up with a headache or a “cotton mouth” feeling after a night of heavy drinking. If you will be running in hot weather, it’s best to avoid hangovers.

 

How to Stay Cool Running in Hot Weather

After hydration, your next challenge is how to stay cool running in hot weather. Obviously, this will be very difficult while running in hot weather. So, you need to dress appropriately for the run and plan your runs purposefully.

Overheating can be just as dangerous as dehydration, so take caution not to let yourself get overheated. As with dehydration, the symptoms of heat-related illnesses can range from mild to severe. For example, someone who is overheated could experience heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Heatstroke is extremely dangerous and should be treated immediately.

Overheating can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Change in demeanor
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Loss of major motor skills (Ex: stumbling, not speaking clearly, etc.)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

If you pay attention to how you feel and plan your runs well, you can still run in hot weather without experiencing any heat-related illnesses. During the hot summer months, it’s essential to notice how you feel physically and to adjust your plans as you go.

 

Clothing

Wear quick-dry clothing that will pull the sweat away from your body. If you live in a humid climate, this is particularly important. Ideally, sweating should cool you off. As the moisture evaporates from your skin, it should leave you feeling cooler than you otherwise would. If your clothing absorbs the sweat, you won’t get cooler. You will be soggy.

 

Time of day

Ideally, don’t go for a run during the hottest part of the day. Instead, plan to run in the morning or the evening when the temperature is lower.

 

Shade

Whenever possible, run in the shade rather than running in direct sunlight. Look for areas with lots of shade trees or plan to run in the shade of buildings.

 

Terrain

Concrete and asphalt get really hot in the summer. Streets, sidewalks, and buildings all absorb the summer heat and radiate it back to you. When possible, run on natural terrain that doesn’t retain the heat as much. Areas with lots of grass or packed dirt will be a little less hot than fully paved areas.

 

Water

You definitely need water to drink during and after the run, but you’ll also want some water to dump on yourself after the run. Cooling off after the run will help you feel better faster. If you are starting the run from your house, plan to take a cool shower when you return. If you’re running in a park, bring some extra water with you and keep it somewhere cool.

 

Conclusion on Running in Hot Weather

Running in hot weather comes with a few extra concerns, but they are manageable if you plan well and pay attention to how you’re feeling. Runners tend to get into trouble when they ignore how they’re feeling and push through the signs of dehydration and heat-related illness. So take care of yourself physically and enjoy your summer runs!

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