Man running on pavement for summer running tips from an austin pt

Tips for Safe Running During the Heat of Summer

As we enter the warm months of 2023, runners everywhere are challenged with optimized ways to exercise and stay hydrated in the face of blistering heat and intense humidity. But fear not! The scorching sun doesn’t need to deter your fitness journey this summer. This blog post is a comprehensive guide that shares simple yet effective tactics on how you can avoid overheating, conserve energy, and maintain hydration during your summer runs. Any people will tell you that these are key things to remember to avoid symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration. By adapting these strategies, not only will you beat the heat but also enhance your overall performance and ensure safe running throughout the season.


So, consider taking a break from your typical routine and try out something new: Say goodbye to summer workout woes and embrace the warmth with confidence as we delve into our expert tips for running safely in high temperatures.


Summertime Running Preparation

First and foremost, acclimate to the heat gradually. Spending time outdoors each day before your workout will help your body adjust to the higher temperatures. This way, you’ll build up tolerance and minimize the risk of overheating during your runs. Start by incorporating short walks or easy runs in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler.


Adjusting Pace and Duration

In high temperatures, your body has to work harder to regulate its temperature. This situation entails a lot from your cardiovascular system, meaning maintaining the same pace as you would in cooler conditions can lead to increased cardiovascular stress and overheating. By slowing down in such conditions, you’re not only reducing the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke but also narrowing the comfort area of exertion throughout your run.


A way to interpret this is by reflecting on your running metrics. For instance, if your typical comfortable pace is around 8 minutes per mile, it might be wise to slow down to 9 or 10 minutes per mile when running in hot weather. The price you pay in tempo adjustment allows your body to adapt to the heat while still gaining a rewarding workout.


Similarly, adjusting the duration of your runs is essential during summer months. Instead of pushing yourself to complete lengthy distances, consider shorter but more frequent runs. This approach allows you to accumulate mileage without overexerting yourself on the site of extreme heat.


Think about running in summer as pacing yourself in a marathon: You wouldn’t sprint at the beginning and risk burning out before reaching the finish line. Instead, much like managing the heat, you would adjust your pace, conserve energy, and ensure a steady effort throughout the entire course of events.


Remember that everyone’s tolerance for heat varies. It’s all about using everything in your power, from listening to your body’s cues to making adjustments accordingly.


Selecting Summer Running Gear

Prioritize lightweight and breathable materials for your summer outfits. Look for moisture-wicking fabrics that have excellent ventilation properties to keep you cool and dry throughout your run. Consider shopping at places that offer technical fabrics like polyester or nylon blends. These products help to wick away sweat from your skin, allowing it to evaporate more quickly, thus preventing discomfort and chafing.


For instance, try to picture wearing a heavy cotton shirt on a hot summer day in an area with high humidity. The fabric would absorb sweat like a sponge, weighing you down and becoming increasingly uncomfortable as the run progresses. On the other hand, wearing a moisture-wicking shirt designed specifically for running would ensure that moisture is pulled away from your skin, keeping you cool and minimizing friction.


Another vital aspect of summer running gear is sun protection. If you run for extended periods under the sun, you are exposing yourself to harmful UV rays that can lead to sunburns and increase the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, choosing clothing items with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is recommended. Additionally, don’t forget about wearing a hat or a visor and applying sunscreen on exposed areas such as your face, neck, and arms. All these products serve as an extra protective layer while you run.


Optimal Clothing and Accessories

Picture yourself halfway through a summer run, feeling the heat radiating off the pavement. In this moment, the last thing you would want is uncomfortable shorts that restrict your stride or socks that cause blisters. By choosing running gear designed specifically for hot weather conditions with an open mind, you can avoid these discomforts and focus on enjoying your run.


Another accessory to give consideration to is a moisture-wicking and breathable hat or visor. Hats not only provide much-needed shade for your face but also help to absorb sweat and keep it away from your eyes. Look for options with adjustable straps or fitted designs to ensure a comfortable fit, much like any other cautious business would do to ensure a smooth run.


In addition to clothing and headwear, don’t overlook the importance of sunglasses for eye protection against harsh sunlight during runs. Opt for sunglasses that offer UV protection and have a snug fit to prevent them from falling off while you’re in motion. Having sunglasses is anything like setting your workspace in order for a day full of meetings.


Hydration Tips for Hot Weather Runs

Before you step out for your run, ensure you’re adequately hydrated by consuming about 16 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours prior. This will give your body time to absorb and distribute the fluids before you start sweating. It’s like preparing your mind before a significant event.


Drink plenty of water: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that men should have approximately 13 cups of total daily water intake, while women should have 9 cups per day. Start the day with about 16 to 20 ounces of water to rehydrate after a night of sleep and continue to drink fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration.


Imagine it’s a scorching summer morning, and you have a long run ahead of you. Before lacing up your shoes, drink a large glass of water and allow yourself some time to digest it while preparing for your run. Again, it’s all about giving space and time for everything to fall into place.


Reader: But, what about during the run? How much water should I drink?


Eric Finger: Excellent question!


During exercise, a general rule of thumb is to drink about four to five ounces of water every 15 minutes. However, this can vary depending on individual factors such as sweat rate and intensity of exercise. It’s crucial to listen to your body and take small sips whenever you feel thirsty. Much like how you manage your business finances, keep tabs on your hydration level. Carrying a water bottle or planning your route near hydration stations can be helpful for this reason. Once you achieve your goal of finishing your run, replenishing fluids is equally important. Aim to drink about 16 to 24 ounces of water within an hour after your run to avoid headache, muscle cramps, and nausea. This process helps replenish the lost fluids and aids in muscle recovery.


Love to run, but your knees are causing you problems? Schedule a FREE discovery session with an Austin, TX physical therapist at Move Empower Concierge Physical Therapy today!


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