Having northern blood and living in the dirty south has made me look for new ways to keep cool on my runs.
1. Run early before the sun is beating down or late after the sun has gone to bed. The majority of my runs start by 4:30am-5:00am. On the off days when I choose to get sleep or my schedule just doesn't allow, I run in the late evening around 7:30pm-8:00pm. This seems like a no-brainer, however, I have talked recently to several people just starting out in the running world who have been trying to run outside at 11am or 12pm when the heat index is 105 with 100% humidity; and they are getting frustrated because they give up or can't finish their mileage. Yes, waking up early takes discipline. No it's not always fun...really it's not ever fun to wake up that early; you need to go to bed earlier and sometimes might even have to have a babysitter come over to sit at the house while your kids sleep(thank God for teenagers who are desperate for $10!) but at least you don't have to worry about a heat stroke. Plus,you get to go through the rest of your day feeling accomplished.
2. Hydrate. This is another no-brainer. Your body is made up of 60% water if you're a male, and 70% for us ladies. Keeping your body hydrated will prevent dehydration, muscle cramps, headaches. So there are three times you need to hydrate, pre-run, during the run, and post run....pretty much you need to keep the water coming.
Pre-run: if you are planning a long run(anything over 8 miles) you need to push the fluids starting a few days before your run. How do you know when enough is enough? Your pee will be pale-clear.(i know...ick)
An hour before a run try to drink 16oz of water or sport drink. Or if you sweat like a man(like me) drink 20-24oz.
During the run: Drink to thirst. When you are thirsty take a drink. I usually do about 4oz every 20 mins. If you get cotton mouth and have no spit left..you are dehydrated.
On long runs 90mins I will add in some Gatorade. This replaces the sodium and electrolytes your body loses through sweat.
Here are some ways you can try tokeep your water cold while you run...I say try, because I have never been too successful.
- Freeze your water bottle the night before-this will also freeze your hand when you are running(unless you have a hydration belt),
-add ice cubes to the bottle before you leave out on your run- mine are always melted by mile 2
-Do what Shelly @It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other experimented with HERE
-or leave coolers of ice water and ice at different locations along your running route(I'm actually going to do it this weekend on my 15miler)
-My favorite thing to do....bum water from someones water hose(always ice cold) and run through the sprinklers while you're at it. I have never had anyone object to me getting water from their spout...though sometimes I don't ask....;)
Post-Run- After a run rehydrate with 20-24oz of water or sport drink. If your pee is dark.....keep drinking.
3. It's all about what is ON you. Don't wear cotton. It keeps you wet and you will chafe. Wear dri-fit, something that will pull moisture away and dry quickly. Don't wear a lot of clothing!!!....yes you may hate your legs or think your arms wobble too much when you run, but wearing running pants or long sleeves in 105 degree heat will make you look stupid. No one is judging you in your shorts and tank...most people wish they were in your shoes!
These 3 things will make your summer runs so much more enjoyable and effective.
Grace and Peace,