The heat has set in and just moving around has you perspiring? Following these beginner guidelines to running in the heat of summer will make it a little easier to perform at your best.
Dealing with the heat and hydration for beginners
Most of us are well aware that dehydration is not only uncomfortable, with nasty side effects that last for hours, but we sometimes forget how dangerous dehydration can be. When you run your internal temperature rises so keeping hydrated is essential as you will lose more water in summer.
A rise in temperature also means your pace will naturally be slower. Do not push yourself to make up for this; pushing yourself, as a beginner, in summer is an easy way to incur injuries, dehydrate, or suffer heat exhaustion.
While it has been passed down for years that sipping liquids throughout the day is better for overall hydration, studies have shown that a good gulp down every few hours is actually better. The premise of the practise of sipping was that runners were told that your stomach cannot process more than about 150ml at a time. However it has been noted that drinking larger volumes less frequently actually encourages faster and more efficient absorption.
Running gear to get up and go
Body heat maintenance is important is both summer and winter. While tighter clothes to keep body heat in are better in winter, looser running gear made of lighter materials is better for summer. Colour is important too – darker colours absorb heat while lighter colours reflect the sun’s rays. Maximise heat loss in summer by choosing the right gear. Lots of heat loss happens through your head, so choose a visor to protect your eyes and face from the sun instead.
Sunscreen, while also important for protecting our sun against UV damage, actually keeps your body temperature lower by reflecting radiant heat during your run.
If you are not overly keen on drinking water, changing your diet slightly can help with your energy usage while running, and keep you hydrated. Summer comes with a wide variety of fresh fruit – adding a pre- or post-run smoothie to your running routine can make that difference you are looking for. Beginners should start by figuring out which fruits agree with your system and more onto smoothie recipes for runners.