Hello divas! I hope that everyone’s week is going well so far. I think that it is safe to say that summer has indeed arrived. Here in Tennessee, we have been having temps in the 90s with the heat index close to 100. Needless to say that it is hot – which can be an issue when you are running and doing other outdoor workouts. This heat and humidity affects an athlete’s pace as well as the body’s ability to keep cool. It doesn’t take much to get overheated on a summer run and for heat exhaustion or heat stroke to set in. So today I am sharing 5 tips to survive the summer heat – whether you are running, biking, swimming or any other outdoor activity.
Get used to the heat. The first thing that you need to do to survive running in the summer is to acclimate yourself to the heat. Don’t expect to go for a run for the first time in 85 degree weather and expect to set a PR. Start by running shorter distances then slowly add more mileage over the course of a couple of weeks to give your body time to adjust.
Stay cool. It is super important to stay cool while you are running outdoors in the heat. This means you need to be wearing lightweight, wicking breathable fabric. Don’t wear a hat as it traps the heat on your head. And remember to hydrate. Sip the water every mile or so to avoid the sloshing feeling in your stomach and be sure that you are replacing your electrolytes.
Slow down. During the warmer months, don’t worry as much about your pace. Summer is a great time to work on improving your endurance and stamina. This will make your pace faster for your fall races when the temperatures start getting cooler.
Run smart. Be smart about when you run. Try to avoid the hottest parts of the day by running in the early morning or late evening. Luckily it doesn’t get dark until 9pm here in Chattanooga so that is possible. If it is too hot, try splitting your long runs up into two different workouts (one in the morning, one at night for instance). I know humidity is a HUGE problem sometimes here in Tennessee so there are days where it is just not possible to go for a run and still be able to breathe so watch out for the weather.
Recovery is essential. You muscles are working pretty hard when you are running in the heat and your body temperature can get pretty hot. Make sure that you are recovering properly. An ice bath (or at the very least a cold shower) can feel really good after a hot run and it helps with circulation. I also wear compression sleeves on my calves when I run anything over 4 miles. I especially make sure I use them in hot weather. You want to give your body a chance to recover and your circulation going to help repair those muscles that were used.
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