It’s summer and it’s hot. Heat is a powerful thing, and we runners have to be especially careful to make sure while we’re putting in those miles, we’re also staying well hydrated, healthy and safe. The consequences of heat and sun exposure can be avoided through planning and simply listening to your body. Here are some tips to make sure you stay safe this summer.
It’s best to avoid direct prolonged sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Take advantage of early morning or late evening for cooler temperatures as well.
Stay well hydrated by consuming at least half our body weight in ounces daily (aka for someone 150 lbs, at least 75 ounces or a little more than 8 cups of water daily). That’s the minimum—active people who sweat need even more. The hotter the temperature, the more you sweat, so make to increase that amount and pick a sports drink that contains adequate electrolytes (essential minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium that are lost in sweat).
This one is essential, especially if you are out and about during the more dangerous sun exposure hours of the day (10 am-4 pm). If you’re running, wear sweat-proof sunscreen and go for the most natural form of UV protection.
We all have run spots that are cooler than others. I’m in San Diego so cooler runs for me are closer to downtown and the ocean (rather than the 20 minutes east of downtown where I am).
They don’t say build your miles in spring for nothing. If you’re trying to push yourself a lot this summer, be ok with taking it easy and modifying plans. This brings us to the last and most important tip of all.
Every single day is different with our bodies. So many factors affect how we feel: what we eat, temperatures, how much we sleep, if we have a tiff with our spouses, etc. Some days we’ll have extraordinary amounts of energy and others we won’t. Those less-than-ideal days make us more susceptible to the consequences of extra heat exposure. Be aware of your body and if you don’t feel like doing something, don’t.