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 day in and out). My running schedule bounces around my husband’s schedule quite a bit and no 2 weeks are ever the same, but during the Summer I plan early morning or evening runs. Mid day runs are during the Summer months in Florida close to impossible…
- 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, especially when training in hot temps
After a 60 minute run you should be replenishing your system with electrolytes and maybe sooner than that when running in strenuous hot temperatures.
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 to stop runs before. As any runner knows, that’s never a good feeling.
It really is important to watch proper hydration when running in heat. So, get your hydration on!
Here are some products I personally love and which do not contain any artificial colors!
- 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. As runners we are constantly exposed to UV rays, so applying sunscreens or wearing SPF protective clothing is a must. 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.
- For long runs consider investing in a hydration backpack. When I was 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 corner, is just not an option and therefore hydration backpacks might be a good option.
Hydration belts are another good option. You have to pay attention to a snug fit, otherwise the belt tends to bounce up and and down!!
- 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! 🙂