Smutty Fitness: Running In The Heat

Hayley Posted by Hayley at June 26, 2012 13:50:03 June 26, 2012 13:50:03

Hi Hayley,

This winter I really got into running, and am now training to run my first half marathon in October! I’ve been running three times a week steadily over the winter and spring, and am now able to run up to 14k on my long runs. Now that the weather is getting hot and humid, I’ve begun to notice that my timing and energy is being affected. My question is do you have any tips or ideas on running in this heat? Thanks!

With the weather FINALLY warming up there are a few things you must consider to keep yourself cool if you are working out outdoors on a hot day.
1 – Do your workouts first thing in the morning (I’m talking 6 or 7am) or later on in the evening when it is the most cool.  If you cannot get out early or late try to find somewhere shady to run or somewhere with a breeze but definitely stay away from running during the hottest times of the day.  The longer your runs become the earlier you need to start to avoid running in extreme heat.
2 – Bring water with you on your workouts and if you are planning on exercising for longer than an hour; make sure you have an electrolyte supplement.  I prefer Nuun tablets as they are sugar free, very light in flavour and the magnesium in them is very important with the prevention of muscle cramping.  Lemon Lime is my go to and I’ve used this product for all of my competitions.  When you are hydrating you need to drink at a steady rate as your body absorbs fluid at a constant rate and as soon as it realizes fluid levels are low it will slow down the absorption rate.  If you drink a bunch of water after this you will become extremely bloated and feel sick and dehydrated so try focusing on sipping your water every 10 to 15 minutes.  As it becomes hotter throughout the run you may need to increase the rate at which you drink. Carry your water in a water belt and have some bottles that only contain water and some that have electrolytes in them. If you are out for longer than 90 minutes you should carry an energy gel (or other energy supplement) with you.  Try the GU Tri Berry flavour and when you take one follow it with some water.
3 – Wear a hat and sunglasses
4 – Wear a light weight, light coloured long sleeved top to help keep the sun off of your skin.  You will actually stay cooler with a light top on than if you were to expose your skin
5 – Use a lubrication to help prevent chaffing.  With the excess sweat from the heat you might find your body will chafe more than usual.  Putting Vaseline (or BodyGlide which is what I use) in areas like your inner thighs, where your arm rubs on your sports bra as well as on other “girly” parts will help prevent a lot of pain later on in the run and afterwards in the shower – ouch!  You can buy these products at any specialty running store
6 – When applying sunscreen (which is a must) to your face, do not apply it on your forehead or anywhere above your eyes.  As you sweat the sunscreen will run into your eyes and your eyes will sting for hours so just apply it to your cheeks, nose, chin and ears and use your hat and sunglasses to protect the rest.
7 – If it is a really hot day you may not be able to run at the intensity you are used to so listen to your body and slow down if you start to feel tired.  If you feel dizzy make sure you stop, find some shade to cool off and get yourself hydrated.  If the dizziness persists you need to end the workout and drink fluids.  If you are heat stroked or heat exhausted please seek medical attention.

Good luck with your training and stay cool!

Attached - Ciara after a workout the other day.


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