While you’re unlikely to be setting any personal bests when temperatures soar, that doesn’t mean you have to give up running altogether during the summer months.
You can avoid the heat by choosing the comfort of an air-conditioned gym. However, if your keen on outdoor running, follow the tips below to stay safe.
1. Slow it Down
Hot weather will affect most people’s performance to some degree. Interestingly, research suggests that women generally have a higher surface-to-mass ratio, which allows them to get rid of heat more efficiently.
Instead of trying to maintain the same speed and feeling awful afterward, take your pace down a notch. Focus on effort over pace.
2. Stay Hydrated
Even when you’re not exercising, you still need to drink more water when temperatures increase. If you’re going for a run, consider taking water or an electrolyte-based sports drink with you,, even if you wouldn’t usually.
Remember to properly hydrate before you leave, during the run, immediately after you finish, and for the rest of the day. It’s a good idea to plan bathroom breaks according to any extra liquid intake!
3. Always Wear SPF
Even if it’s cloudy, you still need to wear SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you’re buying new sports gear, invest in ultraviolet protective factor clothing, which is like SPF for apparel. Also, make sure to apply a high-enough factor of sunscreen to any exposed areas.
Make sure you have the right sportswear for warmer temperatures, so you don’t overheat. If in doubt, wear layers that you can discard as the day heats up. Get yourself a visor or baseball cap and sunglasses to protect all parts of your body from sun damage.
4. Check the Forecast
Temperature isn’t the only factor you need to look at on a weather forecast (although it’s certainly important). For example, the humidity will affect the performance of your run, while monitoring the UV Index can help you prepare to minimize the damage of ultraviolet rays from the sun.
5. Time Your Run
Whether you’re running a half marathon or going for a gentle jog around the block, it’s best to avoid being outside when the sun is at its strongest. Avoid running between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and think about setting your alarm earlier or going out when the sun goes down to avoid the hottest part of the day.
6. Stop if Necessary
Don’t feel like you should power through if you’re feeling unwell. If you start to feel nauseous or dizzy, stop immediately and return home.
Remember to go easy on yourself, whether you’re heading out for a run or staying at home with a cold drink!