Hot Weather Running Tips
I have spent the past few weeks in California where it has been HOTTTTTTTT. I'm talking about over 100+ degrees some days. There has also been a bunch of wildfires in the Bay Area, so I hope everyone is staying safe. I have not been running since the air quality is marked as dangerous, but I do want to give all you new runners some hot weather running tips for those of you who are able to run outdoors!
Avoid dehydration! You can lose up to 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. It's important to drink prior to running. I do at least one glass at least 10 minutes before. If you're fairly new to running, I'd advise fluids every 30 minutes along your route. Signs of dehydration is a persistent elevated pulse after finishing your run and dark yellow urine.
Incorporate electrolytes. I use Skratch or Nuun Hydration. You will find what works best for your body. Electrolytes are important for runners because they include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium. They are vitally important because they balance blood chemistry, healthy blood pressure, and the proper functioning of muscles, nerves and heart.
Avoid running outside if the heat is above 98 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%. While running, the body temperature is regulated by the process of sweat evaporating off of the skin. If the humidity in the air is so high that it prevents the process of evaporation of sweat from the skin, you can quickly overheat.
If you become dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease to sweat…. STOP RUNNING, find shade, and drink water or a fluid replacement drink such an electrolyte. If you do not feel better, get help. Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature, and the body temperature continues to rise. Symptoms of heatstroke include mental changes (such as confusion, delirium, or unconsciousness) and skin that is red, hot, and dry, even under the armpits. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency, requiring emergency medical treatment.
Do wear light colored breathable clothing. Do not wear long sleeves or long pants or sweat suits. Purposefully running in sweat suits hot days to lose water weight is dangerous!
Plan your route so you can refill water bottles or find drinking fountains. City parks, local merchants, and restaurants (make sure to check what is available during COVID) are all good points to incorporate on your route during hot weather running. Be sure to tell someone where you are running how long you think you will gone, and carry identification.
Run in the shade whenever possible and avoid direct sunlight. When you are going to be exposed to the intense summer rays of the sun, apply at least 15 SPF sunscreen and wear protective eye wear that filters out UVA and UVB rays. Consider wearing a hat that will shade your eyes and skin but will allow heat to transfer off the top of your head.
If you have heart or respiratory problems or you are on any medications, consult your doctor about running in the heat. In some cases it may be in your best interests to run indoors. If you have a history of heatstroke/illness, run with extreme caution.
I hope these tips help you out. Stay hydrated, cool, and safe everyone!