Running in Hot Weather
Temperatures are soaring right now! Are you planning on going running in hot weather?…
While the world’s news has been centered around the coronavirus for the past 2 months, it’s been a pleasure to see so many avid runners exercising their right (forgive the pun) to fit in their daily dose of exercise amidst lockdown conditions.
But now that we head into the Summer months once again, more runners than ever will be keen to don their running shoes and get back into a training regimen full-swing. And while this is always a good idea, when it comes to rising temperatures, it should always be done with a hint of caution.
Every year we hear stories of people struggling to handle the heat when they’re running in hot weather, or doing any form of exercise for that matter, even to the point of collapse. Which is why it’s absolutely essential to take extra special care in these types of conditions. Now that temperatures seem to be consistently hitting or falling close to 20 degrees centigrade, here at The Running Bee Foundation we feel it’s the perfect time to begin the discussion once again.
Here are just a few things to remember when running in hot weather:
An absolute must if you want to stay happy and healthy when running, staying hydrated is an essential part of refuelling your body and replenishing any lost fluids. Don’t forget, when you’re running in hot weather you’ll be losing a lot more sweat!
Keeping a cold bottle of water on your person as you run is an excellent way not just to keep you hydrated, but to bring your overall body temperature down if you begin to feel overheated.
Staying hydrated also helps prevent long-term injury; You are far more likely to suffer a significant muscle injury or even a tear if your body is not receiving enough water.
Stick to the shade
If you find yourself in the middle of a run and the heat becomes a bit too much to bear, rather than abandoning your run, you can alter your route to a more shade-friendly one. Without direct heat from the sun your body will have the chance to cool and to continue your run in a much more comfortable state.
While shade may be a little difficult to find if you haven’t planned for the eventuality, if you are familiar with your surroundings you should hopefully be able to find a covered spot where you can try to stay cool before continuing. Or, you might be able to plan your route more effectively, knowing that you will need to take advantage of some shade at some point in the run, or even for the majority of the run if your shade is plentiful enough.
Don’t overdo it
This one might sound obvious, but when running in hot weather, it becomes even more important to take note of.
When we push ourselves too hard in average or cool temperatures it usually uncomfortable, yes, but not life threatening. Well, when you’re running in hot weather this becomes far too true. Over-exerting yourself in hotter temperatures is a dangerous game and can lead to unwelcome circumstances like dehydration (see above), fatigue, sunstroke or even loss of consciousness.
Some of us don’t feel like we’ve had a “proper workout” unless we feel physically exhausted after a session, and that’s ok. But when the sun is blazing and there isn’t a cool breeze in sight, you might want to consider slowing your pace a little just so you don’t cause yourself any serious damage. Always play it safe.
Speaking of playing it safe…
If you know for a fact the weather will cause you problems when you get out on the road, there’s absolutely no shame in exercising indoors instead of going for a run.
It’s only a one-off, and won’t really impact your training in the long run. In fact, it might even give you a chance to try something a bit different and stretch some muscles you never knew you had!
Push ups, pull ups, sit ups, lifting weights, yoga, stretching, lunges, leg lifts, even running on the spot; There are countless ways you can fit in your daily session from the comfort of your own home.
Or if the heat is getting to the extreme, there’s always the option of skipping your session for the day. Sacrilege to some, but when it comes to your health, safety should always come first.
However, if you are desperate to get out for a run…
Reduce your route
If you’re struggling, the longer you spend running in hot weather the worse you will feel. So if you’re used to bagging a 5k or even a 10k on a regular basis, it might be wise to trim that down to something a little less physically taxing until temperatures return to normal.
It might even give you the opportunity to discover a new route; Something a little easier to handle on the days you don’t feel like going all-out, when you simply feel like a lighter jog instead.
Whatever your experience and whatever your running aspirations, The Running Bee Foundation is here to help. We hold some exceptional running events throughout the year so you can stretch your legs, test yourself and even break your own personal PB.
To find the next Running Bee event in your area (some times have changed due to COVID-19) check out our official events page here.