So, the hot weather is here and you are drowning in a sea of humidity and sweat. When you see waves of heat radiating from the road it can make it hard to find yourself training. We at The Runners Forum understand what you are feeling. Training in the heat is tough and it definitely slows us down. But there is good news!
First, we can acclimate to heat over time! As we continue to run in the heat we will begin sweating more efficiently and our routine of hydrating will improve. Besides acclimating, there are lots of practical steps you can take. Below is some key advice to help keep you cool and comfortable.
Apparel, Hats, and Socks
There have been huge advancements in training apparel over the last several years. Long gone are the days of cotton. Today, cotton has been replaced by soft and very comfortable synthetic materials that allow for sweat to either wick away from the skin or increase the ability for sweat to evaporate from the skin. When the sweat can easily evaporate from your skin it produces a cooling effect by drawing heat from your body. Cotton, on the other hand, has a really hard time of letting go of moisture like sweat. The same is true for hats and socks. In addition, the dry feel helps to decrease chafing or any uncomfortable scratching.
Hydration, the act of consuming water and electrolytes, is especially critical during warm and hot weather days. Hydrating before, during, and after your training is ideal. Before you run, be sure to consume water throughout the day or the evening prior to your training if you train in the morning. During your training activity, plan a route that may lead you by a water fountain in a park. In addition, there are lots of ways you can carry your hydration with you including hydration belts that are worn around the waste and hand held bottles that strap comfortably to your hand for ease of use. Hydration belts are extremely popular and used by many runners and walkers. After your run, be sure to consume electrolytes, protein, carbohydrates, etc. to insure that you recover properly for tomorrows training. It is critical that you practice hydrating immediately after to hit the best window of opportunity for recovery.
Timing is everything when you want to beat the heat. Training in the morning as early as possible is the best way to avoid the heat. Ideally, you want to do your training before the sun comes up. Training between 10:00am and 5:00pm are generally not suggested on hot days. Though it is possible and some may feel comfortable, it will be heard to get an effective training day in while the sun is scorching. Keep in mind that 4:00pm is usually the hottest part of the day as the sun has had its time to heat up the earth before it begins to cool for the evening. And finally, the evening is the second best time to do your training. It is generally more muggy, dusty, and warmer than its morning cousin but offers a safer alternative to mid-day training.
If you need any more advice on how to prepare for hot weather training please feel free to stop by and let us help you.
The Runners Forum
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