On a hot summer day, you might be running on a treadmill in a cool air conditioned gym and wonder how people could possibly be running outside in that weather. Running outside can be a daunting prospect when the sun is beating down on you. Here are a few running tips you should follow if you are considering running outside in the heat.

Hydration

The most crucial thing any athlete can do when running in the heat is hydrating. Your body loses fluids at a much faster rate in the heat, so it’s necessary to drink plenty of water before and during your run if you plan on running a long distance. You also should hydrate when you finish your route in order to recover properly. Also consider drinking sports drinks to help retain water and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

Apparel

There are whole lines of apparel designed for people who go running in the heat. Your shirt should be loose and breathable. Some types of running clothes are designed to easily absorb your sweat and let it evaporate. This design helps you to stay cool. Wear light colored clothing since darker clothing will absorb heat. You should also consider wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The more shade you create for yourself the better. When your skin gets burned, it becomes difficult to perspire and thus harder to cool your body.

Timing

You can also adapt your running schedule to avoid running in the heat. The coolest time to run is most likely the morning. Depending on where you live, the sun is typically at its hottest between noon and 3 or 4 p.m. Avoid running during that time if you don’t want to have to deal with the heat.

Adapt

If you feel you can't run at your regular pace in the heat, you shouldn’t try. Instead, slow your pace down and take water breaks. If the heat is too extreme, you probably shouldn’t be running at all, especially when the temperature gets over 100 degrees. Take a day off or use a treadmill. You don’t want to get heatstroke.

When running in the heat, follow these tips to stay safe and make it more comfortable. There’s no reason you can’t keep running when it gets hot out, but know your limits and be smart to avoid getting injured.