TURNING UP THE HEAT ON SUMMER RUNNING
When it’s the middle of winter and you’re layering up for a run, you long for the heat of summer. But when it’s here, you wonder what you were yearning for!
Burning your face off or staggering home dehydrated should not be on the menu for summer running, so follow our summer running tips on how to stay cool, calm and collected until the cooler days of fall beckon.
10 TIPS FOR RUNNING IN THE HEAT
- 1.The early bird catches the worm: The phrase ‘only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon-day sun’ springs to mind. This mantra should hold true for runners (even English ones) too. Take advantage of the early sunrise, set your alarm and get out early while the day is at its coolest and the sun at its least oppressive.
- 2. Lighten up clothing, but not coverage: Summer running apparel has come a long way with uber-light fabrics with SPF protection from brands like Nike, Under Armor and Saucony. Take note of the SPF protection offered. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a white cotton t-shirt only offers a UPF of 7. Arm coolers are a must for the intense heat, not only for sun protection but they come into their own to keep the skin cool when covered in water. In race day situation? Douse the sleeves at every aid station, but remember when a fabric gets wet, it’s less protective.
- 3. Drink up: It goes without saying that you need to drink more in the summer when you’re training. Why? Read our blog post about hydration. Add onto that advice the goal to constantly hydrate during the hot months. That way you’ll start off each run in an already hydrated state. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and sip up!
- 4. Salty Rita: Electrolyte drinks are key when you’re training in intense heat to replace salts lost through sweat. Choose from Nuun, Skratch, Hammer Nutrition and more. Pop a hydration tablet in your water bottle; they taste great and make a key difference to your rehydration plan.
- 5. Chafe no more: There’s nothing better than sweaty, chafed skin to remind you you’re alive (in a painful way), especially in high humidity areas. Use Body Glide as a matter of course for skin hot spots and you’ll never need to scream for mercy in your post-run shower. Other skin savers, like SportShield and Blister Shield are good additions to have at hand.
- 6. Clean it up: Sweaty workout clothes take on a realm of their own in summer heat. Sport detergent designed specifically to take the stink out of technical fabrics is better than your ordinary grocery store brand. Likewise, a shoe spray can help keep your running shoes smelling a little less like, err, running shoes. And your mother was right, don’t leave your sweaty clothes festering in a laundry basket. Wash them soon and wash them often.
- 7. Take it indoors: Sometimes you have to bow to Apollo, the Greek God of the Sun, and let him win. If your training window only lands in the heat of the day, crank up the t(d)readmill indoors and a get in a structured run. Every footstep counts as forward motion.
- 8. Cramps: If you’re prone to cramps, summer heat/dehydration can make them worse. Try Hot Shot drinks, a new one-shot drink developed over 5 years of scientific research. Skeptic? Try it and see for yourself. Features a blend of ginger, capsaicin and sea salt in a combination that stimulates neurons in the mouth. Spicy, and straight to the point, Hot Shot could be a cramp-saving addition to your summer running bag.
- 9. Protect your skin: Sunscreen all the way. And add more than you need and more often than you think necessary. Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and always wear sunglasses and a hat.
- 10. Slow it down: A top tip to remember from a pro Ironman triathlete, ‘when it’s hot for you, it’s hot for everyone else too. Don’t be afraid to adjust your expectations accordingly.’ When summer heat is high, maybe it’s not the time to go for a PR, slow it down, hydrate and enjoy the heat and what it allows your body to do.
SHARE YOUR SUMMER RUNNING ADVENTURES
Ready to rock summer running? Share your best/worst summer running adventures with us with the tag #JackRabbitRuns