Running in Heat never seems to go out of style here in South Florida. For the last few days the temperatures have really been on the rise. During my long run this morning it was hard to imagine that I will be running in these high temps and humidity for the next 6 months straight (!). Since moving here 2 years ago I’m always hoping for a cool down by September/October, but it really is never happening until Mid November. There are some necessities I want to share with you today to make your run in the sun more enjoyable. So here are my tips for staying safe while running in heat.
- Plan your run either early in the morning or later in the day when the sun isn’t as strong (even though this is easier said than done sometimes, not all schedules can afford the luxury of set running times each and every day. My running schedule bounces around my husband’s schedule quite a bit and no 2 weeks are ever the same. I constantly have to adjust me running schedule).
- High Quality Hydration is key. Watching your water intake throughout the day is essential for everyone, but runners need to pay even more attention to their hydration. Running on water alone is just not sufficient enough for runners or any active person. After a 60 minute run you should be replenishing your system with electrolytes and maybe sooner than that when running in strenuous high heat conditions.Watching your electrolytes before and after your run makes your run more enjoyable, it helps your pace and you will experience less cramping. You will have more stamina as well. Lack of hydration and electrolytes has let me stop a few runs. That’s never a good feeling. It really is important to watch proper hydration when running in heat. So, get your hydration on!
- Sunglasses. Polarized running shades protect your eyes and help you to relax your face – therefore conserving more energy. Interesting, isn’t it?
- Visor. I never really liked visors until I actually ran with one. A visor helps to protect your face from dangerous UV Rays and does not cover the top of your head from air circulation like a running hat. It’s important not to cover the top of your hat to prevent overheating!
- Sunscreen. A high quality mineral based sunscreen is important. The ingredients in most sunscreens are truly troublesome. Try to invest in a good quality mineral based sunscreen. Pay close attention to cover your face, especially forehead, ears and neck. For your lower body pay attention to cover the front of your thighs with sunscreen. Spf protective wear is a great idea as well!
- For long runs consider investing in a hydration backpack. Living in NYC I never had to worry about hydration on my runs. Street vendors were present on every corner. Especially in Central Park! Central Park really is a Runner’s dream convenience -wise ! In places like Florida however,the convenience of buying a sports drink every few meters or so, is just not an option and therefore for longer runs a hydration backpack might be a good option. Unless you want to run with a sports bottle in your hand. But then again it could be really annoying holding a bottle in your had for miles. I always get tired of holding a bottle past the 2 mile mark. Holding a bottle for too long effects your running posture as well.
- Wear lightweight running fabric or even lose the layers! Many brands offer heat wear. These fabrics repel sweat and are super light on your skin. Running in Florida I had get over my fears of running in a sports bra. Running in 85 degrees or higher makes running in a sports bra almost a given, especially when running higher mileages during the hot Summer season. An exposed midriff helps you to keep cooler a lot longer.
- Enjoy your Summer – it will be over way too soon! 🙂