Here in the south we have hit the 90s with 100% humidity almost daily. With that, I thought I would post a few reminders from Jeff Galloway for running in the summer heat.
1) Run before the sun gets above the horizon. Get up early during warm weather and you will significantly reduce the dramatic stress increase due to sunlight. This is particularly a problem in humid areas. Early morning is usually the coolest time of the day, also. Without having to deal with the sun, most runners can gradually adapt to heat. At the very least, your runs will be more enjoyable.
2) If you must run when the sun is up, pick a shady course. Shade provides a significant relief in areas of low humidity, and some relief in humid environments.
3) Evening and night running is usually cooler in areas with low humidity. In humid environments there may not be much relief.
4) Have an indoor facility available. With treadmills, you can exercise in air conditioning. If a treadmill bores you, alternate segments of 5 – 10 minutes -one segment outdoor, and the next indoor.
5) Don’t wear a hat! You lose most of your body heat through the top of your head. Covering the head will cause a quicker internal buildup of heat.
6) Wear light clothing, but not cotton. Many of the new, technical fibers (Polypro,Coolmax, Drifit, DryScience etc.) will move moisture away from your skin, producing a cooling effect. Cotton soaks up the sweat, making the garment heavier without providing much of a cooling effect.
7) Pour water over your head. Evaporation not only helps the cooling process -it makes you feel cooler. If you can bring along ice water with you, you will feel a lot cooler as you squirt some regularly over the top of your head. I like to freeze an ifitness belt bottle. half full, fill it up with water as I start my run.
8) Do your maintenance runs in installments. It is fine, on a hot day, to put in your 30 minutes by doing 10 in the morning, 10 at noon and 10 at night. The long run, however, should be done at one time.
9) Take a pool break, or a shower chill-down. During a run, it really helps to take a 2-4 minute dip in a pool or a shower. Some runners in hot areas run loops around their neighborhood and let the hose run over the head each lap. The pool is especially helpful in soaking out excess body temperature. I have run in 97-degree temperatures at our Florida retreat area, breaking up a 5-mile run into 3 x 1.7 mi. Between each, I take a 2-3 minute “soak break” and get back out there. It was only at the end of each segment that I felt hot again.