With the weather trending on the warmer side, you might find that your training is beginning to be a little harder to get through. Heat and humidity can both drastically affect running performance, turning up the perceived effort of each run. Luckily, there are a few tricks to help you beat the heat. Here are 5 tips for surviving summer training.
Water Isn’t Enough
Hotter temps mean you’re going to be sweating more. Sweating more means expelling precious minerals, namely sodium and potassium. When this happens, drinking water isn’t enough. If you’re heading out for a long run or a hard workout, drink a sports drink that also contains carbohydrates like Gatorade 1-2 hours before you head out the door. If it’s a shorter run or cross-training session, add a low-calorie electrolyte mix like Nuun or Ignite Naturals Refresh to your water.
Check Your Run Time
It’s a no brainer that the hottest part of the day is the afternoon. If you’re going to run in the heat, get the most out of your miles in the morning before 10 A.M. or in the evening after 6 P.M. If there’s no way to avoid a mid-day run, then try to find a shaded path or trail. We’ll also let you count the run portion of the “run and jump in the lake” towards your daily mileage!
Sunburns zap your energy – energy that could be used for running faster or longer. Apply sunscreen before you head out the door to ensure that your muscles are doing the work, not your skin. Bonus points if you wear a hat to keep the sun off your face!
Overly contracting the facial muscles can actually take a lot of energy. Running fast requires you to be relaxed, including your face. Wear sunglasses to keep from having to squint during the entirety of the run. You’ll be more comfortable during those miles if you don’t have your face scrunched up the entire time!
Cool Your Pulse Points
Your pulse points are locations where your blood vessels are close to the skin. Because of this proximity, placing something cold on your neck, temples and wrists can help to cool the temperature of the blood nearest the skin, which circulates cooler blood throughout the body, lowering the body temperature. If you’re going to be working out in the heat, chill out (literally!) with a cold, wet towel around your neck and wrists before heading out the door. If you’re doing intervals on the track, hill repeats, or an activity that provides breaks, bring a frozen bottle of water with you and splash cold water on your pulse points during your rest periods to keep your temperature from rising with the effort.