While starting to prep for my training for an upcoming 5k obstacle run, I was thinking, this is Las Vegas, and it is the first day of spring, guess what that means? The Heat is coming and FAST! I was figuring since I work part time but in the mornings, I am going to have to train in the afternoons in hotter weather and then wondered, does anyone know the right things to do in the weather they are training in?
It is so important while running outside to make sure you care for your body as best as possible to avoid any injuries and illnesses. Here are a few tips that can help you along the way while running in the Heat and Spring time.
Pollen - If you have allergies, pollen counts are always higher in the morning, so it is best to do any of your outdoor activity in the afternoons.
Keep Drinking - When it's hot, it's good to drink at least 2 more cups daily to stay hydrated. If you train in the morning, remember to hydrate yourself well the day before. Runners rule of thumb is to drink at least 16 to 32ozs of water for every hour of exercise you are doing, or 3 to 6 ozs every 15 to 20 minutes. Also, make sure you are hydrating yourself with liquid that contains electrolytes as your body will be sweating out a lot of salt. Look for a drink that contains 20 to 50 grams of carbs, 230 to 345 milligrams of sodium and 40 to 100 milligrams of pottasium.
Early Or Late - It is best when the temperatures get high to avoid heat exhaustion, plan your runs for either very early in the morning or in the late evening. A lot of running groups plan early runs between 3-5am before the sunrises. As the earth heats up usually between 3-5pm, it is best to plan an evening run after 8pm or later. Running inside is also another option, but if you're training for a race, it is best to do it outside to train your body to the conditions you'll be running in.
Plan Ahead - Run in a park that has wter fountains or a trail with convenience stores, gas stations, places where you can hydrate yourself throughout a run. This avoids you having to carry the extra weight of water around with you. Another good tip is to make a trail around your home that loops past it so you can leave water in your driveway or mailbox to grab when hydration is needed.
Check The Index - In places with high humidity, it's not the heat, it's the humdity that will get ya! Moist air slows your body's ability to cool itself through sweat. The Heat Index combines temperature with relative humidity to give you the apparent temperature, how hot it really feels. Checking yur index the day before your runs, can let you know if its best to do your long or short run.
Running Clothes - It is important in heat as well as in cold to wear the right stuff! Long sleeve tops that wick are great for summer running, they provide two very important things, they keep your body cool as the fabric wicks the sweat away from your body and they provide uv protection for your skin avoiding sunburns. Light colored clothing reflects heat and loose fitting clothing allows your body to breathe better. Hats are great for more than just blocking rays, some use it to stash ice packs in to keep your body temperature cool.
Adapting To Heat - The most common thing for a beginner runner who starts training in heat is they give up. It's too hot, they can't breathe, etc. etc. GET USED TO IT! Your body will usually adapt to the heat your running in within 3 to 4 days though it might take up to two weeks to acclimate. So don't give up.
Listen To Your Body - If you ever feel nauseous or heavy headed, stop immediately, get in the shade and drink something cold. Other symptoms to look out for are if you are feeling dizzier than normal, not sweating or feeling sick. These are the beginning signs of heat stroke.
Take It Easy - If you are competing in a race during the hot weather, save your marathon for the fall and do shorter races and take it easy. Sticking to 5k's is great training during the summer for a longer 10k to do in the fall. Average weather for a 10k race is 54 degrees, which means, if you are striving to to hit first place, your time slows dramatically when running in the heat.
ENJOY Your Runs! - Run shorter routes, find sprinklers to run through, have fun!