With temperatures set to soar, here are 6 tips to help runners beat the heat
1. Don't hydrate too late
Don't wait until just before your run to get hydrated. Your body needs time to absorb the fluids it needs, so if you're running regularly get into the habit of drinking plenty of water. Electrolyte drinks will help your body retain fluid when you hydrate outside of mealtimes.
2. Run early or late in the day
The easiest way to beat the heat is to avoid it. If you're a mid-afternoon runner, try switching to first thing in the morning or after sundown when temperatures are cooler. It might take a few days to adjust to the new schedule, but it will be a worthwhile switch.
3. Adjust your pace
You've been training all year and might have a personal best to beat, but failing to take the heat into account will not end well. Slow your pace according to the weather, especially if you've trained in cooler months and are not used to running in heat. Don't make the rookie error of going out too hard at the start of a run.
4. Get wet
Nothing beats a cold shower on a hot run, so look out for opportunities for a good drenching. We're not all lucky enough to live near mountain streams, but a municipal drinking fountain, lawn sprinkler or a bottle of water over the head can do the job.
5. Mind your minerals
The body sweats more in hot weather, to it's important to keep your sodium levels up. Sodium tablets or salty snacks will do the trick. On longer runs, electrolyte drinks will replenish sodium and potassium, helping to retain fluids and prevent cramping.
6. Be sun-smart
Body-hugging base layers work well for cold-weather training, but when the sun starts to shine a loose-fitting T-shirt with mesh or vents will help keep air circulating and prevent chafing. Opt for a high-tech material that wicks sweat away from the body. Protect your head from the sun with a lightweight hat with a visor, and apply sunscreen to exposed skin. If you run with sunglasses, make sure they are light, comfortable and aren't going to slide off your face when things get sweaty.
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