Top tips for running in the heat

Top tips for running in the heat

Hydration for running in the heat

“Sweating is one of the body’s primary means of heat regulation” says Registered Sports and Critical Care Dietitian, Tom Hollis. “So our sweat rate will of course increase as we train in the hot weather, leading to rapid loss of hydration and electrolytes. It’s therefore essential to stay on top of this, by consciously and proactively increasing fluid intake pre, during, and post exercise, especially on harder training days.”

Knowing just how much extra you need to be drinking can be tricky, but Tom has a solution. “One option is to weigh yourself before and after a session to get an idea of ​​your typical sweat losses per hour in certain conditions, but otherwise you can respond to hydration cues, such as urine color and volume, and other symptoms of dehydration such as headaches and lethargy.

“If you know you are a high volume sweater or a particularly salty sweater (you have salty tasting sweat or salt residue on clothes), I would also recommend additional electrolyte supplements during the hotter months.”

dress appropriately

What you wear on a run is a very personal choice and while some can’t wait to shed as much clothing as possible when the sun comes out, others prefer to cover up as much as possible. When choosing your outfit for your next run, think about what will keep you cool as possible but balance this with keeping your skin from being exposed to too much sun.

A cap or visor can help, as well as a pair of running sunglasses. And if you’re going to be taking extra fluid with you on a run, you might want to consider a hydration backpack, especially if you’re training for an autumn marathon and doing long runs during the summer months.

sun protection

Sun protection is important for year-round runners, but is vital during the summer. Choose a broad spectrum sun screen as these offer both UVA and UVB protection. UVB protection level is indicated by the SPF which ranges from 2 to 50+, while UVA protection is shown by the star rating out of five.

There are many brands that offer sun protection specifically designed for sports – this should make them more resistant to sweat. If you are doing a long run, you will need to reapply your sun protection during your run. Spray applications may be easier to reapply on the go.

be patient

Bodies are clever and given time they can adapt to training in different conditions, including the heat. “For runners who successfully adapt and acclimatise to hot conditions, running in the heat can actually improve athletic performance,” sports physiotherapist Randall Cooper tells us. “The body learns to sweat more – and in turn improve thermoregulation, both in hot and cold conditions. Training in the heat can also lead to positive changes in blood plasma volume, reduce overall core temperature, reduce blood lactate levels and improve aerobic performance.”

But, all these benefits don’t come easy. “It needs to be stressed that adapting to running in the heat should be done incrementally over many sessions, and that not everyone responds to training in the heat in the same manner, so it definitely needs to be approached with caution,” Randall warns.

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