In spite of the summer heat, a lot of runners still want to continue their healthy routine. Although the heat can seriously affect running performance, there are several ways you can counteract the effects. Here are seven hacks for running during summer time.
- Run at the coolest time. One of the hacks you can do to avoid the summer heat is run during the coolest point of the day. Good thing, free software and some apps can show the temperature highs and lows for the day or even for the week so you can schedule your run accordingly. Usually, sunrise and sunset are the coolest times. Midday is the hottest. But since weather changes can be abrupt, it’s best you check an app.
- Look for a shady alternate route. Every runner has that favorite route. But when it comes to extreme weather conditions, you may need an alternative route to keep you safer from the elements. During summer, choose less open routes. Settle for more shades, like areas with more buildings and trees. Nowadays, there are apps which can calculate the distance of the route using GPS. They also show visuals. Use the app to get the distance. That way, you still get the same distance you run in your usual route.
- Wear sweat wicking clothes. Even by regular standards, sweatpants and baggy clothes are a no-no. You don’t want them flapping around, then heavy and sweat-soaked in several minutes. Luckily, sweat-wicking clothes are now available in stores. Brands like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour have running apparel which takes sweat from your body and lets it evaporate inform of your clothes. This way, you are cooled off, feel more comfortable and lessen your risk of being exposed to bacteria build up. Most of these clothes are lightweight and trendy, adding more appeal to the technological benefits they already provide.
- Wear light, breathable shoes. If you’re clothes are on point, you shoes should be too. Wear running shoes which are lightweight and made from breathable materials. These type of shoes allow your feet to ‘breathe’. Good circulation prevents hot, sweaty feet and bacteria. Heavy and stiff shoes typically wear you down. Light and flexible ones let you accelerate and move more efficiently.
- Consume additional water. Even before you run, you lose more fluids during summer than any other season. You lose around six to 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Pre-hydrate before you run. Drink an additional glass of water. Look for possible ‘hydration’ stations as well. Drinking fountains in the path, or even a convenience store you can buy some water or sports drinks.
- Wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays are good for you. But they can also be unforgiving, especially during the summer. Don’t forget to apply some sunscreen. Even a thin layer with a high SPF will help protect your skin from certain cancers and diseases.
- Run by feel. For sure you have a target pace, time and distance you want to achieve. But before you try to reach that, get the feel of your run. The heat and humidity will affect your performance despite of your best efforts. So don’t force it. Acclimatize by running at a slower pace. Adjust on the fly. If it feels you’ll be exerted double the effort just to achieve your goal, tone it down a bit. Don’t force anything. Work on your target slowly but surely.