It doesn’t take much for your body to crumble under the heat of the sun, especially when you are busy exerting it by running. Summer is a great time for running if you’re smart about it and make some adjustments. And now that we have settled into a long summer, it would be wise to prep up before we run in the sun. Here are seven simple summer running tips.
While it’s essential to be hydrated during all your runs, it’s all the more important in the sun as your body is losing water and burning calories at a higher rate. Drink ample water before your run and after it. For really long runs (over 40 minutes) make sure you have a sports drink that supplies you with the requisite sodium and potassium. The former helps you use the water you’ve consumed, while the latter can help avoid cramps.
Run early (or late)
It’s usually a bad idea to run while the sun is shining high in the sky in the late morning or afternoon. Head out for your run in the morning (5am-8am) or wait until it’s dark outside and head out for a night run.
Your body needs time to adjust to changes in weather. You may struggle to complete a 20-minute run on a hot day, even if you have practiced running for that period previously. Cut down your mileage in the first few days of summer running. Over a period of a week to ten days, build it back up as your body adjusts to the travails of the heat.
Heed warning signs
This is a novice mistake and many inexperienced runners fall prey to not listening to their body. The two major problems are dehydration and heat strokes. Not drinking enough fluids can cause muscle cramps and may make you feel light headed and nauseous. Heat stroke is a more severe problem and is a combination of bad nutrition, dehydration and working out in extreme heat. Certainly don’t run this summer if you are hung-over or are under medication, as this can have adverse impact under a hot sun. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and not to be taken lightly.
If you are used to running on the streets or outdoor, you may want to rethink those plans in the summer. Stick to an indoor regime with some treadmill workouts. If you are still hankering for an outdoor run, go for a leafier track with dense tree coverage.
Run with a partner
Why not? After all, misery loves company! That’s only a joke, but having a friend around can be life-saver. Having a running partner can make things more spirited, light-hearted and can be invaluable in case of an emergency. And running in tandem with an experienced runner, can help set an easy pace for your first summer run.
Besides wearing comfortable summer-friendly running attire, it’s a good idea to lather on some sunscreen. Runners are more likely to be affected by heat burns and rashes as they are out and about in the sun for longer. Make sure it’s a sweat-proof formula. You can also wear a hat or sports sunglasses to keep the sun away from your face
Lowering your body temperature in the hour before you run in the heat slows the rate at which your core temperature rises once you’re out on the road. This translates into being able to run farther or faster than would otherwise be possible in the heat. Pre-cooling improved hot-weather performance by 3 percent, according to studies. Try and invest in a commercially available “ice vest,” but if you can’t get your hands on it then you can sip cool beverages and sit in an air-conditioned room.