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How to Get Used to Running in the Heat

By Elizabeth Jenkins

Not everyone needs to run in the heat of the day, but some people need to train for events which happen in the heat.  Some people are forced to run in the heat purely because that’s when they have time to run.

This might sound silly, but the only way to get used to running in the heat, is to RUN IN THE HEAT.

What happens when you run in the heat:

  • Your heart rate increases
  • Your body core temperature increases
  • You sweat more
  • Your pace slows down by at least 20-30% in some cases.

It’s good to know what is happening to your body in the heat so you can prevent over-heating, dehydration, or other health problems.

Here are some more tips on how to adjust to running in the heat.

  • Plan on the adjustment taking some time….It’s not going to be easier after a couple runs, it might take a few weeks. Be well prepared on your runs.
  • Check the temperature and humidity before you run. Knowing what to expect can help you adjust your pace, clothing, water etc.
  • Remember that humidity (not a big deal here in Utah) has a big impact on your ability to cool off. Ice bath anyone?
  • Stay Hydrated. The blog on Electrolytes and Hydration covers this. Remember that electrolytes are as important as water for staying hydrated. Hyponatremia can kill!
  • Cold drinks can also help lower your body temperature, but don’t drink too much without electrolytes (see above tip on hydration)
  • Wear white or bright technical clothes. It may not be your favorite color, but it is the coolest and best at wicking sweat away from you. Never ever ever wear cotton!
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat to protect your neck and face.Wear sunscreen or cover up.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection. These Native Sunglasses are some of the very best and lightest.
  • Wearing a Bondi Band works wonders. I seriously can’t run without one.
  • Ward off  blisters as your feet are more likely to be wet when you sweat more. Check out this sock blog for great recommendations on good socks. Wearing a cotton sock is the #1 cause of  blisters.
  • Watch out for the warning signs of heat exhaustion, including profuse sweating,weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, light-headedness, and muscle cramps. I find nausea is the first sign I have of overheating and headache is my first sign of dehydration.
  • Stash some drinks along your running route rather than carrying enough for the whole run.
  • Check your medications. Some medications inhibit the body’s ability to regulate temperature and have been linked to heatstroke.

 

 

 

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