We’ve had a few summery days here in the Chicago area. That means extra heat and humidity that we runners are not used to. The Chicagoland Spring Marathon showed me exactly how much the heat effects how I run. I run outside year round and it can be a constant battle running with the ever changing weather. These are some of my favorite ways to ease into summer running.
1. Run in the morning or the evening. The morning and the evening are the coolest parts of the day. The morning is my favorite time to run and it sets my day off on the right foot.
2. Allow time to Acclimate to the weather. Our bodies are not used to warm weather running. Did you know it can take up to 14 days to get used to the heat and the humidity? Be patient and don’t become discouraged if you can’t handle the heat initially. One way I think to ease into summer running is simply by being outside during a warm day and gradually increase the time spent outside. I enjoy going for long walks with Peyton which helps my body adjust to moving around in the heat.
3. Hydrate! Make sure to drink enough water not only while you’re exercising but before and after as well. Carrying water with you on a run is not always the best option for everyone. Another option is to hide water bottles along the way. I find water fountains on my route and I stop to drink whenever I have the chance. When at home, but cautious of what you are drinking in between runs. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics that increase urine output.
4. Light and Loose Clothing. Wear something that is light and will wick away sweat. Lululemon has one of the best tanks right now for running. It is loose and flowy, allowing for sweat to evaporate and for the clothing to breathe.
5. Decrease the speed. Less speedwork and more easy runs in the summer heat will decrease the risk for heat illness.
6. Wear a hat. Better yet, put a cool washcloth between your head and the hat to help cool you off during your run. Wearing a hat will help to protect your face from overexposure to the sun.
7. Seek out the shade. Shaded paths are cooler and will decrease your sun exposure. Run near water, if possible, as those are naturally cooler areas.
8. Sunscreen and shades. Protect yourself from skin damage and damage to your eyes by using SPF on your skin and sunglasses that filter UV light. I swear by my Oakleys whenever I run to protect my eyes from the elements.
9. Salty foods. You lose more than water when you sweat. Losing salt through your sweat can lead to heat cramps. Replenish electrolytes through sports drink and by eating salty foods.
10. There is always the treadmill for days that are too hot. You can also cross train such as swimming or strength training. Don't be afraid to skip a too hot day all together.