Depending on where you live, warm weather may already be on the way. Can you continue your training and challenge participation in the heat? With a little preparation—yes, you can!
At Champ Virtual Events, we want you to hit your peak performance while also staying safe, so follow these tips for your hot weather workouts.
Pick the right time to run
Avoiding the mid-day heat is key, so plan to make time in the morning or evening to set out. In most cases, the morning is the best time as the air has had all night to cool down. If you instead head out for a post sunset run, you may find the heat from the day is stored in the tarmac or pavement under your feet and is still rising well into the evening hours. If you’re heading out when light levels are low (before sunrise or after sunset), don’t forget a light or other device to make sure you can see and are seen by others around you.
It sounds counterintuitive, but you may want to take more time warming up durning hot weather spells. This is because your heart rate will be elevated due to the heat anyway, so adding the intensity of the workout on top of that only puts more stress on your heart. Consider starting with a 5-minute walk and some light stretching before embarking on your workout.
Hydrate well beforehand
Even though you may be good about drinking fluids during any time of the year, it’s of course especially important in the summer months. Try starting to hydrate your body well in advance of your workout as it takes time for fluids to move from your stomach into your body tissues. Think 2-4 hours before your workout (which may mean you hit the water as soon as you wake up—a good idea anyway. If you have an early morning run scheduled, it’s a good idea to hydrate the night or even the day before. Also experiment with hydrating with sports drinks during your run, even if you normally only go for water. During the hot weather, you may be losing more electrolytes, and the sports drink will help replenish them. And you don’t have to buy sports drinks. They are easy to make at home—basically water + sugar + salt. Here’s a recipe.
Change your route
Look for trails or other paths that have good tree cover along the route, to increase the likelihood of catching some shade. The bonus of running trails is that you’ll need to slow up a bit over the rougher terrain, which makes it easier to keep your body temperature and heart rate under control.
Select the right clothing
Avoid cotton clothing as that will absorb excess sweat and trap it against your body, which won’t let the cooler air circulate around you. Try moisture-wicking fabrics that have a bit of texture to them. This will create tiny pockets of air between your clothing and your skin as you run. Don’t forget a sun hat if it’s sunny as keeping the sun off your face can make you a lot more comfortable, if nothing else.