Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Beware of Heat

After two nights of training in ridiculous heat and humidity, I decided to do some research on running in hot temperatures. Most articles say heat is the biggest adversary for runners for two reasons, dehydration and overheating. Just look at this chart I found online.

The key to beating the heat while running is hydration. If you are thirsty, it’s too late. You’re probably already dehydrated. An average person should drink two quarts of water a day. Runners need anywhere from four to eight quarts a day, depending on the intensity of their training.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when running in the heat:
- Try to run early in the morning. The humidity will probably be higher, but it will not be as hot.
- Wear sunscreen. The sun takes a lot out of you, especially if you’re burnt.
- Wear a light colored, moisture wicking clothing.
-  Wear a visor or sunglasses to help keep the sun out of your face/eyes.
-  Drink four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your run. If you don’t like carrying a  water bottle, try a hydration belt.

Another good tip: Stretch thoroughly before and after each run, heat or not. This will reduce the risk of cramps or injuries. And this goes without saying, but I will anyway… drink plenty of water post run.

Good luck to those of you hitting the road in the heat. The next few months are going to be rough, but it’s worth it.