Tips for running in the heat

I’m no fitness guru or expert on the subject, but I do go out for multiple runs a week. They aren’t always fast. They aren’t always long, but I try to get out there to move my legs and challenge my body. It’s even a bit more challenging when the temperatures are in the high 90s with heat indexes over 100. We’ve seen our share of these days in Chicago this summer.

If you are training for a race, it is not always easy to take the day off. So what to do if you must get that run in?

1) Take your run inside. I know, I know it summer. You shouldn’t have to run on the dreaded treadmill.

If you must run outside:

1) Wear moisture wicking fabrics. And wear as little clothing as possible. Think tank tops and shorts…I’m not telling you to go out indecently exposed. Oh, and make sure it’s light-colored and loose-fitting.

2) Take water with you. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I have a handheld amphipod that I fill with ice then water. The cooler temperature against my palm actually helps to cool my whole body. Which actually allows me to run longer.

3) Take walking breaks. This will actually allow you to run longer by helping to cool you down and restore your energy.And run slower than your usual pace. In my case, this would probably be called walking. HA!

4 Wear a visor! Huh? Did you know that you can waste 3 percent of your total energy output on squinting? Just think if you could add 3% to  your run by wearing a visor and not squinting. Visors also help you to keep sweat from rolling down your face and into your eyes. Unless you have eyebrows like Frida Kahlo eyebrows and don’t need help with that.A visor also allows heat to escape your head where a hat can trap it in.

5) Run earlier in the morning or later in the evening to take advantage of cooler temps.

6) Use your head. If you start feeling light-headed or confused, stop.


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