Running in the Heat ….

I think summer has finally arrived.  The heat and humidity have been circling the CHI like a shark considering the most strategic plan of attack.  It’s swooped in a couple of times only to be abruptly scared off; however, it’s not leaving this time.  So how are we going to handle running in the heat?   I’m going to cry cut my run short and head for my car!  Okay, I admit that I did do that last night but that’s not my normal method of heat management.  Here is a fast and friendly list that anyone can use to try to keep cool while running cuz the bottom line is that if you run, you will be running in the heat sooner rather than later.

Running in the Heat Cartoon

  • Hydrate – I know this is a no brainer but it’s of utmost importance.  You need to be consuming good fluids which hydrate, all day, every day.  Not beer.  Not wine.  Water.  Remember that alcohol dehydrates you, for days if you go on a binder like I did last weekend and will cost you after the fact.  One day/night of drinking will take many more days to replenish what was lost.   The alcohol is a diuretic, gets into your muscles and flushes out all the good stuff that you’ve worked so hard to put into your body.  It causes you to lose excess water (and vitamins & minerals), slows the pumping of your blood which decreases the amount of oxygen to your already depleted muscles and inhibits your body from pumping enough blood to get to your skin which is one of your natural, self-cooling methods. Scientific, huh?  I know, go get the real info HERE, then go fill up your water bottle.
  • Dress appropriately – Once again, sounds easy, right?  Maybe, maybe not!  When Chicago heats up, it’s no joke.  Think people in the ghetto city busting open fire hydrants cuz it’s so hot they could die.  Yep, it’s THAT hot.  So don’t take it lightly, dress in lightweight, cooling, moisture wicking tops with as little material touching you as possible.  One of my favorite “hot weather” tops is the Saucony Ignite Singlet ($30) and the Saucony Hydralite Tank ($25) which is on Last Chance Clearance for $12 HERE if you are an XS.  It’s so light, you can barely feel it.  I have 4 of ignite singlets, see an older model below (with Susan D) in pink.  On the “bottom”, my favorite hot weather skirt is Race Belt Skirt ($45) from SkirtSports.  The black & pink Race Belt Skirts come in an airy light material that has a lot of tiny pinholes.  Super for cooling & they dry FAST when they get wet!  Try a skirt this summer!!

Me&Susan_Jelly Bean_4-4-12    image

  • Hat, Visor & Sunglasses – Although, I’m not necessarily a hat person, it will help keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes.  If you can double up with a visor & sunglasses, even better!  If you can get your hands one of the 180s Cooling Visors ($25), much, MUCH better!  I was totally kicking myself that I didn’t have it last night when I had to bail on my run cuz I thought I would pass out.  The 180s cooling visor is my go to visor when it’s hot.  And in case you were wondering on sunglasses, I’m still rocking the Ryder Shot Photochromic’s that I reviewed last year HERE which are the only glasses I’ve worn on the run more than once or twice.  I really like them!  They are lightweight and don’t move even when I have sweat water pouring down my face.

  me_8-11-12_180s Visor  image Kankakee River State Pk_me & Lib_11-11-12

  • Carry or drop water for your runs.  If  you don’t like to carry your own water, consider dropping some along your run route or circling a path with a fountain.  I need a lot of water when it’s warm.  I drink, then dump.  If I’m wearing a hat/visor then I’ll get that wet  too!  This keeps my head cool(er) and the wetness provides a barrier from the heat.   The easiest way for me to carry water is via a hydration belt.  I’m not good with handhelds because I don’t like to hold onto anything.  My favorite hydration belt is below, it even went to Ragnar FL Keys with me.  The Road Runner Sports R-Gear Double Duty 2 Bottle Belt ($26.99) is light, doesn’t move, fits well, has Fuel Bottle brand “bottles” but is an exclusive Road Runner Sports design.  I particularly like the reflective pouch at the front and the plastic casings for the bottles to keep them from falling out, plus I can still wear it with my FlipBelt.  Win, Win!image
  • Sunscreen – The one thing that most people forget.  It will not only provide protection from the sun but also offer an immediate cooling effect upon application.  I also personally think that if you can keep your skin from heating up and burning, your internal cooling systems have an easier go and can work at keeping you cool on the run.  No science behind that, just personal opinion.  Real science is below:

Sun block or sweat block?
While use of sunscreen can reduce radiant heat absorption, many athletes are concerned that sunscreen will also hamper sweating. However, data from a 2000 research study published in the Journal Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness showed that use of sunscreen doesn’t affect thermoregulation — in fact, it may actually enhance overall body cooling. This data, while preliminary, should convince those who believe sunscreen will compromise their performance to start protecting their skin.

  • Schedule Your Run around the heat!  If you are able, try to avoid the hottest hours of the day when the sun is blazing.  Ideally speaking, its best to run before the sun rises or after it sets but I know that’s impossible difficult for many of us. 
  • Slow Your Roll – This is not a good time for a PR, or even a killer workout.  When the heat is high, run by effort.  Do not look at your watch and get discouraged, just run at a comfortable effort.  If you are feeling hot, faint, weak or just “off balance” then don’t be ashamed to back off or even walk.  Remember that a good day is a day that you get home safely under your own power.  Nobody checks your watch to see how fast you were running BEFORE you passed out and needed emergency assistance.  Take your time and get home safely!

There are just a few of my favorite hot weather running tips.  If you know of more good tips or have a good article in mind, please link it up! 

** Always Run Safely ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

8 thoughts on “Running in the Heat ….

  1. Great tips! I live in Arizona and the temperature is only going to get higher. I actually registered for a race in June at 2:47 PM, I’m a little nervous about it. haha

  2. Great tips. But for the intrepid, there’s always this under-recommended tip: embrace the heat! With proper care and caution, you can slowly adapt to the heat and become a better runner. You won’t be fast and it won’t be easy, but if you can manage to churn out quality runs in the heat, then come fall, it’s a quick trip to PR city.

  3. Pingback: Summer Training | The way I Run my life

  4. Great suggestions and I just hope someday soon I’ll be able to follow them here in Iowa. Today’s race temp was 52 degrees, cloudy, and windy! Where is summer at?

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