How to Adjust to Warm Weather Summer Running
It’s summer time, which means it’s time to shed those extra layers you always needed to worry about during the colder months and worry about a different problem – adjusting to warm weather running! When it comes to summer running, we have to worry about a whole other set of problems, from getting too hot, to not staying hydrated, to sunburn.
Tips for Adjusting to Warm Weather Running
The following are some reminder tips when it comes to running during this time of year:
Hydrate, Hydrate, Then Hydrate More
No matter what the temperature outside, hydration is always important. But with higher temperature and higher humidity, the more saturated the air is with water, making it harder for your body to cool off because sweat cannot evaporate. Your body will sweat (a lot) on your summer runs, decreasing your blood volume and making your heart work harder to deliver oxygen to your muscles.
What happens to your body in the heat sounds kind of scary, but adequate hydration will definitely help, even if you can’t completely avoid the effects of the heat. It is important to hydrate pre-run, during the run, and post-run. Water should be the number one way of keeping yourself hydrated, but it is also a good idea to mix in sports drinks to replenish the lost electrolytes.
Plan Your Route
Don’t be afraid to try new running routes this summer (actually I strongly encourage it), but still be sure to plan ahead. Important questions to ask and find answers to about the warm weather running routes are: How shaded are they? Are there working water fountains along the way? Try to find routes that will be shaded for the majority of the run if it is going to be a sunny day, and since hydration is so important, bring your own water with you. Don’t rely on water fountains just in case they are more spread out than you thought, or they aren’t working the day of your run.
Plan Your Clothing
The rule of thumb for picking out your running outfit for your summer run should always be to dress 15-20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. For warm weather running, wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to help your body breathe better. Dark colors absorb the sun rays, so try to avoid those as much as possible. Leave your cotton T-shirts in the drawers and opt for synthetic fabrics such as CoolMax or Dri-Fit instead. These will help wick moisture away from your skin, helping you stay drier and cooler. These types of clothing may cost a little extra, but trust me, they will be worth every penny!
No matter what, when it comes to summer running gear, choose clothing that will help you stay as cool as possible, but also what is most comfortable for you!
It’s ok to feel more tired on summer runs than you usually would. In fact, it is completely normal! Accommodate by taking stretch breaks or adding in walking periods to your long runs. Outside of your runs, as always, be sure to get proper sleep and nutrition.
Summer isn’t just about running, but it is also about relaxing and spending time with family and friends, so don’t be hesitant in taking days off from running to rest and enjoy what summer is really all about.
Adjust Your Goals
Instead of running for time in warm weather, try running more by feel. If the run feels hard even if you are going slower than your normal pace, that’s ok. You are still getting in a solid, hard run. Only push the pace if you feel you can, and if you can’t, opt for a pace that feels more comfortable. Listen to your body and monitor your fluid intake to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.
Have Fun Running this Summer!
With these tips in mind, go out there and have some awesome runs and enjoy the last couple months of the Minnesota summer!