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Jul. 6 2010 - 1:18 pm | 579 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

How to run in July (without getting heatstroke)

Runner - Upper Wainui Rd

Image by Peti (Deuxmont) Morgan via Flickr

Across the country temperatures are heating up and along the Eastern Seaboard the highs are predicted to top 100 this week. Common sense tells us that an ice cream cone and an air-conditioned room seem like a better idea than an outdoor run, but the fact is many fall marathon training plans have already begun. If you have a gym membership (and can survive the treadmill), that might be your best option, but what if you can’t run inside? It IS possible to run outside this summer, without collapsing from heatstroke. Read on for my “beat the heat” running tips!

  • If you can swing it, an early morning or evening jaunt will spare you from mid-day sun and the day’s hottest temperatures. And in many places, the sun doesn’t set until nearly 9pm, so you can still fit in a post-work run in the daylight.
  • Wear as little as possible – my summer running uniform is simply a sports bra, shorts, running shoes, and socks. I might not have abs of steele, but the 90 degree temperatures help me to get over any doubts about running shirtless.
  • Plan your route around water stops – I like to run in Central Park because there is a plentitude of public drinking fountains. If you can’t locate water fountains, bring some cash for a mid-run icy cold Gatorade stop or seek out your neighbor’s sprinklers. And if you see a cool and refreshing swimming pool? Take a dip! I won’t tell.
  • Adjust your pace. When the heat and humidity are high, plan on running at least 1 minute per mile slower than usual.
  • Hydrate in advance. Rather than chugging a bunch of water or Gatorade minutes before a run (hello sloshy stomach…), drink slowly and steadily throughout the day. Increase your fluid and electrolyte intake until your urine is clear.

As is the case with any extreme weather running – be careful! Tell someone where you’re going/when you’ll be back and if you start to feel dizzy or sick, stop and take a break. Happy and safe summer running!


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Running Shorts is a part of the True/Slant network specializing in Running News, Trends, Insights and Perspectives. This blog is maintained by Megan Kretz (megan [dot] kretz [at] gmail [dot] com) and Geoff Decker (geoffreydecker [at] gmail [dot] com). Email either us with tips, suggestions or feedback. And thanks for reading!

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