It’s 100 degrees F! “You can fry an egg on the sidewalk” goes the cliche. I’ve never tried that but I have run in super hot and humid conditions and lived to tell the tale. Along the way I’ve learned some hacks for running in the heat:
- Run early morning or in the evening. Mornings are generally better because the sidewalk or pavement has cooled off a bit overnight. Either time of day is preferable for running because it is generally cooler and the sun isn’t directly overhead.
- Hydrate properly. On longer runs on very hot and humid days I run with my Camelbak hydration system. I got it years ago and used it at my first full marathon at Reggae Marathon in 2009. It was a saviour especially toward the end of the race when I could get a sip of water between aid stations. I prefer water for hydrating but have used electrolyte replacement liquids on occasion…generally when I’m on a long trail run.
- Heat control. Technical gear all the way! Singlet for my top, short tights and running socks. No cotton. Let me repeat that, ‘Absolutely no cotton”! Technical tops made of polypropylene and other exotic synthetic fabrics wick moisture more effectively allowing your skin to breathe. Cotton gets wet and stays wet…it is uncomfortable.
- Keep your head covered. Especially if you run mid-day. Heat stroke is serious and running without head coverage will put you at greater risk. I also like to keep the back of my neck covered as well. And I keep the back of my neck wet when it is really hot and humid. It helps.
- Run shorter and slower. On the really hot days, I slow down. This is not a day for a speed or interval workout. And I run a shorter route. Again, not the day for a long distance run.
After a run on a super hot day, I like a longer than usual cooldown walk. I sweat a lot. Better to sweat outside rather than inside. And once home, I immediately rinse out all my sweaty running gear before hanging to dry. I don’t like running in stinky gear and the rinse helps a lot.
So run in the heat…embrace it even. Just use common sense and take advantage of these hacks for running in the heat.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy