Runner’s Corner: Beat the Heat

RC.BeattheHeatIt’s full blown Summertime in my part of the world (Texas) and that means it is hot hot HOT to the tune of 90+ degrees by noon.  Ugh.

I mean, I love running in the heat.

That is a TOTAL lie.

I am a hot runner by nature (my body gets pretty hot when I run, even in cold weather).  My favorite temperature to run in is 40-45 degrees and even then, I might be sporting running capri’s and a tank top.  I love running in cold weather.  So when Summer hits here, running is NOT my favorite form of exercise, even given the fact that it helps me keep my sanity.

Here are a few ways to beat the heat.

  1. Don’t run (ha).
  2. Run naked (ha ha).
  3. Run inside (ugh but sometimes a necessary evil).
  4. Run to the fridge (I am SO silly today).
  5. Imaginary run (really silly).

On a more serious note, here are some ways to beat the heat, part two.

  1. Plan your run for earlier in the day, preferably before the sun fully rises.  I know, sleep is a precious commodity BUT a runner girl has to do what a runner girls needs to do to keep running.
  2. Wet a bandanna, put in the freezer for an hour before you run, and then wear it.
  3. Wear lightweight clothing (and as little of it as possible- ha ha)
  4. Bring two water bottles, one filled with Nuun for hydration, the other filled with icy cold water to dump OVER your head when you get really hot.
  5. Plan your run to go by sprinklers or a splash pad or even better, end your run AT a pool and jump in!
  6. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Slather on the sunblock.
  7. When it is hot and humid, I feel like I am running in an oven, with something physically pushing down on my chest, making me breathe harder and faster. NOT FUN.  Basically, your body is working twice as hard to cool itself.  The solution: slow your pace down  and/or add walk breaks to your run to cool yourself down.  If you are a run- walker (like me), add another minute of walking or reduce the number of run minutes in your run-walk ratio.  The goal of all this is to NOT let your core temperature rise too much.  Leave the Garmin at home- nobody needs a reminder of pace during this transition time!
  8. Be patient with yourself.  It takes at least 14 days for your body to adapt to the heat and learn to cool itself more efficiently.  Run by effort level rather than speed.  Slow it down for a few weeks until your body has adapted to the Summer heat.

How do you beat the heat in your part of the world?

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  • Bari_F

    I love that iced bandana idea – although when I first read it I thought it said “iced banana” and thought that sounded pretty good too :)

    Around here, I get up uber early, even though I’m off work for the summer. We don’t just have heat, we get humidity too, and it sends my breathing issues into overtime. For someone so focused on her pace, this is really a crappy time to run and train for races. When it’s really awful out, I will leave the Garmin at home, or I’ll set a timer on my porch and just look at it when I get back so I’m not obsessing through the entire run.