Tips for Running in the Heat

*Always have your phone in case of emergency

1. Make adjustments: Don’t do long or higher-intensity workouts during middle of the day. That is when the heat is the most intense. As a general rule, start your workout slower than you usually do. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to speed up a little bit.

2. Wear as little as possible: Wear apparel that’s light in color, lightweight, and has vents or mesh. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices. Also, be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

3. Watch your meds: Antihistamines and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to urinate, compounding your risk of dehydration. If you take these, just check with your parents.

4. Drink early and often: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink an hour before you head out. If you are able, drink in 20 minute intervals while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more. However- Drink water during the other parts of your day.

5. Be patient: Give yourself eight to 14 days to acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.

6. Seek grass and shade:It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening.

7. Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.

8. Head out early or late: Even in the worst heat wave, it cools off significantly by dawn. Get your run done then, and you’ll feel good about it all day. Can’t fit it in? Wait until evening, when the sun’s rays aren’t as strong—just don’t do it so late that it keeps you from getting to sleep.

I do NOT want anyone run in the dark. We live in a different world now. I don’t want anything happening to any of you. Do not feel that you are invincible from danger – because you are not.

9. Slow down: Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. So don’t fight it—just slow down.

10. Don’t make excuses – everyday you skip a workout is a lost day that can’t be recaptured.  Hot weather means you might as well skip practices until mid October because it is going to be hot until then.

Use common sense and follow the recommendations above. There will be days in the summer when extreme “Heat Advisories” will be broadcasted and they should be adhered to. But, Tip #8 always seems to trump the issue.