This article is from a friend of mine.
In the midst of these 100 degree-days, it’s a good time to review some hot weather running tips. Summer running and training in Texas requires some extra caution to help keep us cool and safe. Even though the heat is on, many runners either already have, or soon will be, ramping up their training mileage for the multitude of fall and winter events, including marathons such as Chicago, New York, and White Rock.
Try to plan your workout for early in the morning when temperatures and humidity are typically the lowest. If you can plan a route with some shade, even better! Warm up, rest and cool down in the shade.
Plan for your hydration. Do you have water available along the route or do you need to carry water? If you need to carry water, there are several types of hydration packs and devices available that make carrying easy. Take in fluid every 20 minutes. On longer runs, include some sport drink or product containing sodium and other electrolytes with your water. Weigh yourself before and after your run and make sure you re-hydrate after the run and replenish lost fluid. It is also a good idea to carry a few dollars in case you have to pop into a convenience store for some food, water or sports drink.
Acclimate to the heat. Ok, maybe it is a little late for this one now, but, when the temperatures rise, do a few slow easy runs to acclimate to the heat.
Wear a running cap or visor to keep the sun off your head and face, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and a sweat-proof sunscreen to protect your skin.
Wear loose fitting, light colored moisture-wicking clothing. Light colors will reflect some of the heat. And, don’t forget some moisture wicking socks; they will help save your feet from blisters.
Don’t be too stubborn to occasionally go indoors! Although a lot of runners dislike the treadmill, it can be a good tool for running intervals and inclines.
Adjust your pace. Although everyone reacts differently, there is notable degradation as the temperature climbs.
Listen to, and know, your body! As runners, we sometimes want to be “tough” and run through things. Know when to run tough, and when to pull back.
Stop running if you become disoriented, dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease to sweat. Find shade, and drink water and a fluid replacement drink. All runners should know the symptoms and treatments for: dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and, hyponatremia. Some of these conditions can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Do not minimize the dangers, and, seek medical attention if required.
You can find additional information on hot weather running tips, along with some general running safety tips, on the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) website at: http://www.rrca.org/education-advocacy/
With proper precautions and some common sense it is possible to continue running through the Texas heat.
By Tony Flesch / Contributor Jul. 22, 2011