Now that summer has officially arrived and temperatures are beginning to heat up (not to mention that horrible humidity), it’s time to start re-thinking about when and how you run to best deal with the changing conditions.
There’s no question that increased temperatures and humidity will affect your running, generally in adverse ways. Higher body temperature and inadequate heat dissipation will make running faster more difficult, or at least feel that way. There are however, many ways to get the most out of your summer running.
Here then, are some tips and tricks to beat the heat:
- Run early or late. Aim to get your run in during the early morning hours—before 8am—or later in the day—after 7pm. This will avoid the hottest, most humid times of day as well as decrease your exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
- Dress for success. Even if the thermometer reads one thing, plan as if it were 5-10 degrees warmer. Wear moisture wicking fabrics and try to dress in light coloured clothing. Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face. Apply a layer of sweat-friendly sunscreen before you go.
- Stay hydrated. Be sure to stay in a well-hydrated state as often as possible. Drink extra water throughout the day as well as before and after you run. Unless you really want to, you don’t need to carry water while on the run unless you’re running for more than 75 minutes. That said, know if and where water will be available out on the route such as at fountains and parks.
- Keep it easy. Most of your weekly running should already be easy and done at a comfortable pace. If it seems too hard, slow down. Workouts and harder efforts should be done at the coolest times of day and re-adjusted for extreme conditions.
- Be patient. The body will eventually acclimatize to the heat and humidity and after a few weeks, running should begin to feel easier as the body adapts. Depending on your level of fatigue and hydration status, some runs may still feel more difficult than others. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t feeling great.