As we start to enter the warmer months, you may be wondering whether it is still safe to run in these higher temperatures. Is it good for your body to run in the heat? Or should you wait till the evening when it’s cooler? Don’t worry – we’re here to answer all of your questions! And make sure you’re running programme is ready for any weather Mother Nature throws at it…
Be a Trail-Blazer this summer
You may be both surprised and relieved to hear that running in the heat actually possesses quite a few benefits. By taking extra precautions and making minor adjustments to your training programme, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to keep running consistently all the way throughout the summer! Believe it or not, it could actually bring some benefits.
By exposing your body to higher temperature runs, it will slowly adapt to the heat which can have a positive effect on your body’s endurance. The extra strain put on your body during a hot run will ensure that when cooler days arrive, you won’t need to work as hard to endure the distance. This is a great way to improve your overall performance as you will be conditioned to run in a wider range of weather conditions.
Your body also develops coping mechanisms. Without even being aware of it, your sweat rate increases which help your body prevent itself from overheating. Another coping mechanism is that running in warmer temperatures will positively affect your heart and blood flow so that more blood will move to your skin instead of your muscles to help you keep cool. As a result, it is common for your overall blood volume to increase. How awesome is it that our bodies adapt to warmer temperatures, without ourselves even knowing it, to keep us up and running.
How to beat the heat?
If it currently feels like the Sahara desert in your country, then the following tips are vital to keeping you feeling cool on your runs.
Tip 1: Avoid the hottest moments
When you want to go out for a run, try to avoid the hottest moments of the day. It is better to run early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is lower to avoid getting overheated.
Tip 2: Avoid direct sunlight
Sunburn and sunstroke are probably two of the most dangerous elements of running in the sun and you should always prepare yourself accordingly. To avoid looking like a tomato for any longer than is needed, make sure you’re using suncream on any exposed skin – you may need to reapply this on those longer runs too. And although you might not win any points for fashion; a hat and some sunglasses are also great ways to minimise the risks of prolonged sunlight exposure.
Tip 3: Wear appropriate clothing
Nowadays, many brands manufacture breathable running wear to help you keep cool during warm temperatures. As your sweat rate increases, breathable clothing allows sweat to escape and lower your core body temperature faster. Their quick-dry technology will also contribute towards staying cool and comfortable throughout your run. These types of clothing also tend to be lightweight which is great in reducing the chance of overheating.
Tip 4: Slow down
Your body will endure a lot during your runs and needs to work even harder in the heat. To make sure you enjoy your run without getting exhausted, you might want to adjust your pace. Slowing down your pace will make it easier for your body to perform. And keep in mind that it takes time for your body to adapt and practice makes perfect.
Tip 5: Stay hydrated
We can’t say this enough, make sure to stay hydrated. Especially during warmer weather, you are more likely to get dehydrated as your body produces a lot of sweat, and therefore you lose a lot of bodily fluids that need to be refuelled. Make sure to already be hydrated before your run and drink enough after. Try to take plenty of fluids with you during your run and drink at least every 15 minutes, or whenever you feel thirsty, and don’t forget to keep topping up your electrolytes. As mentioned in our previous blog, it is good to remember that electrolytes can help maintain the body’s balance and help you hydrate more effectively.
With all the benefits described and some tips to get you prepared for your next run in the heat, you are ready to go! Hopefully, you will experience a nice run and see improvements for your runs in the coming months. Keep in mind that running in the heat is different for everyone just like every runner has their own unique way of running. Let us know how you experience running in the heat!
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