5 Tips To Stay Cool While Running Outside This Summer

Tips To Stay Cool While Running Outside This Summer
Summer is officially here! With it comes some pretty gnarly heat waves already that have people swarming to their local pools, lakes, rivers, and air conditioners. However, if you’re a runner, you may be wondering how to keep up with your running routine safely.

Of course, you don’t want to deal with heat exhaustion, but you also don’t want to lose sight of your fitness goals in the warmer summer months. Today, we will review easy-to-follow tips on keeping up with your running regime without jeopardizing your health.

1. Alternate Indoor and Outdoor Training

Many runners love getting outside for their weekly mileage. However, if it’s a scorching week, it may be worth considering some alternatives. On days when you just can’t get out the door early enough, and a mid-day run is your only choice, it may be wise to head for the gym or your own air-conditioned home and do your workout for the day on a treadmill or track.

There are several benefits to running on a treadmill this summer, such as cooler temps, being able to use a fan, and keeping a water bottle close at all times. Most of all, these perks can also help you avoid dangerous outdoor temps in the middle of the day. Of course, don’t feel like you have to ditch all of your outdoor runs this summer- just use your common sense each day with choosing the best training option for your health.

2. Schedule Your Run in Advance

This second tip is one of the more obvious ones. However, a little planning ahead can go a long way to make sure you get in the weekly mileage you want to. Depending on your week’s schedule, pencil times in your calendar that’ll get you outside before (or after) the temps get too high. Each region’s right times will vary, but try to shoot for early mornings or late evenings.

Additionally, check your local weather report to see if there are hotter days that you will want to avoid the midday heat on. Alternatively, you may find that other days might be more bearable midday.

3. Optimize Your Hydration

Staying properly hydrated is always essential: before, during, and after your run. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends approximately one ounce of water per ten pounds of body weight within the four hours before your workout or competition.

This should leave your thirst quenched. However, follow your body’s cues and consider “topping off” 30 minutes prior with a few extra ounces if you’re still feeling thirsty (just make sure you have time for a quick potty break or plan to stop for one in the middle of your workout).

Don’t forget to add electrolytes to avoid overconsumption of water with your favorite sports drink, powder, or salt. If possible, bring water with you on your run- either handheld, in a drink belt, or backpack bladder. Otherwise, try to plan your route along with water sources.

4. Wear the Right Clothes

Choosing the right running outfit goes far beyond looking cute or professional. The right gear can help your body to better wick away moisture and keep your core temperature stable. This should include a breathable hat, shirt, and shorts while keeping your skin protected with appropriate sunscreen.

Try to avoid black and other dark colors that absorb those sun rays and keep away from 100% cotton blends that leave you feeling overheated. Finally, don’t forget that shoes count too! Make sure to find breathable socks and shoes to avoid excessive sweating of your feet that can leave you feeling too hot.

5. Lower Your Core Body Temperature

Interestingly, some research supports the benefits of cooling the body down before your workout or run. This can be done in several ways, such as drinking an ice slurry or ice immersion. The effectiveness is similar to either option, so choose the one you are most comfortable with and do it around 30 minutes before your workout. This practice can help keep your core temperature lower throughout your run. Plus, a cold slurry or cold washcloth halfway through your run may be beneficial as well.

Be Smart and Stay Safe

Running at high temperatures is plain exhausting. Ultimately, don’t expect to run at the same speed and intensity as you do at cooler temperatures. If you experience confusion, cramping, nausea, or vomiting- these are signs of heat exhaustion and should be taken seriously.

Always use common sense and pay attention to how you’re feeling to decide if you need to take a break, reschedule your run for a different day or time of day, or simply head inside and jump on a treadmill.

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