Tighten up those laces and hit the pavement.
Running is one of the simplest ways to be sure you are sticking to a regular exercise routine. However, making sure you stick with your runs in the summer heat can be challenging to say the least. So here are a few tips to get you through the summer season while maintaining your exercise regimen.
Know the weather.
Running is a great physical activity for anyone striving for improved cardiovascular fitness, weight loss or to generally get in better shape. However, running outside in the summer heat can come with a host of dangers like heat exhaustion, heat stroke, rapid dehydration and troubled breathing, especially for those with asthma and allergies.
“I prefer to run early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in. It’s cooler, and I enjoy an energy boost for the rest of the day.”- Certified Health and Wellness Coach, avid runner and marathon guru, Heather Fuselier
Morning or evening runs that enable you to avoid extreme heat is particularly crucial to those like Fuselier who live in a HOT climate. “If you absolutely must run in the middle of the day, then be sure to find a well shaded route, take frequent water breaks, avoid blacktop and listen to your body.” she recommends.
Heather fueselier runs the Tallahassee half marathon, 2012.
Another way to beat the heat is by making sure you are staying hydrated. Running without hydration is a “NO-NO,” in Fueslier’s book.
“Hydrate with 10-15 ounces of water before your run and carry it with you to be sure you are hydrating at least every 20-30 minutes.” - Fueslier recommends.
Water bottles with a hand grip sleeve or a secure belt that holds your water bottle(s) around your waist are great options to make your run a little smoother while staying focused on your hydration. Moreover, do not forget your electrolytes! Tablets like Nuun and GU are excellent for runners. Learn more here.
Sport lightweight running attire.
Running in sweat suits, long sleeves, pants or even trash bags to sweat out excess water weight can be extremely DANGEROUS! Excess sweat caused by constricted or non breathable clothing can cause dehydration which can lead to heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Instead, opt to wear light colored, loose fitting or moisture-wicking clothing and breathable footwear for a comfortable, heat prepared run. Learn more here.
Understand effort over pace.
Running is to heart rate as peanut butter is to jelly; they simply just go hand in hand. When you run, your heart rate increases and dependent on the intensity of your run, it stays at a consistent rate or sometimes it spikes. These spikes is indicative of added effort. In the case of running in the heat, these added efforts, especially if prolonged can create a major health concern.
“Summer time is not the time to try setting your record run time or competing in your biggest race,” says Fuselier.
The general rule of thumb to ensure a safe, fun run in the summer heat is to let go of your pace or time focused runs and simply notice the effort your body is putting in and have fun. Check out more hot weather running tips here, and schedule your session with Heather or one of our other certified personal trainers today! Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHWC, CPT, CMS
Health Advisor | Email Casey