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Friday, June 1, 2012

Running in the HEAT

As a Florida resident and Florida runner for over four years (mostly summers and 3 p.m. cross-country practices), I consider myself an amateur expert on dealing with heat through runs.  Roanoke pretends to be a warm place, it's now June and the days that have reached 90 I can count on one hand.  However, heat can kill, far more often than cold will and I've learned a few tips to beat it.

1. Start off cold.  Research backs me up on this.  I don't own an "ice vest" so I stick to hanging out in the coolest room of the house in my tank top and shorts for at least an hour before I head out.
2. Hydrate pre-run with icy water.  The colder your drink, the cooler you'll feel those first few miles
3. Always wear a hat.  Not only is it annoying to have the sun blazing in your face, but the accumulating sweat tends to keep my head cooler.  I love headsweats products, especially when they're race bling.  DON'T LEAVE IT BEHIND EVER!
4. Plan your route around water stops.  On any route I make sure there's at least a water fountain at a park or a Walgreens in a suburb.  Running to water keeps me motivated.
5. Take walk breaks.  For some reason walk breaks on an 80+ degree run are just the miracle cure for my lethargy.  I don't need 'em on a normal day but it really pulls me through in the heat

Yeah, it's kinda obvious that if you're too hot, you should stop and not let your body dry heave, but I have to remind myself of this sometime.  I mean, I've never passed out and I've gone running in 98 degree heat at 90% humidity.  And it made me tougher.

Never make excuses for the weather.  Just do it.  And make yourself a yummy smoothy as post-race COOL down.  I run for smoothies!
that photo is from the July 4th and one the most mega-hot 5ks I've ever done.  PTL for sweat!

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