• Deanne Panday

Is Summer wrecking your running routine? This might help

The summer heat sure takes a toll on our fitness regime. High temperatures can be a challenge for intense workouts, be it yoga, pilates, gym or even running. But that doesn’t mean your fitness should be compromised. Summer is not only about vacations and pool parties, it also includes the challenges faced by runners. Luckily, after making a few adjustments, it is possible to effectively train and race during the summer. The heat is here to stay, and so are your running goals. The key to efficient summer running is training smarter, not harder. Changes can be made in your fitness gear, time, hydration, location etc. Here is a mini guide to not let the heat come in the way of your running goals.

6 ways to run smarter during summer -

1. Choosing the right time

If your schedule allows, time your runs to fall during the coolest parts of the day. Ideally early mornings and evenings are the coolest. It is advisable to keep a check on the humidity before heading out for a run too. This not only keeps you out of the sun as much as possible, but also helps keep your core temperature as cool as possible.

2. Hydration is key

Running in warmer temperatures means an increase in your fluid intake. Drink at least 200-300ml of water before going for a run. Consider bringing fluids with you on the run in a water belt or pouch. Stay well hydrated, but don’t forget to take electrolytes. Electrolytes replace the salt your body is losing as you sweat and prevent you from drinking too much water. Replenish post-run with an electrolyte-filled sports drink. Hydration helps dealing with the heat, and helps you run more efficiently.

3. Choosing the right location

Where you run matters as much as when you run. During summers, it is best to run near water bodies or near shade and greenery. Asphalt retains and radiates heat, making it tougher to run. Rivers, lakes, and oceans usually create slightly cooler, breezier conditions. If possible, find a park or trail with tree cover. 

4. Dressing right

Reflect the sun’s rays away from you, and avoid tight attire that won’t allow a breeze to get through. Steer clear of sweat-soaking cotton; instead, wearing moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics. You lose much of your body heat through your head, which is a good thing during the summer. Don’t cap it off with a snug, thick fabric hat. Instead, opt for a visor or roomier lid with breathable mesh.

5. Your mindset matters

Mentally, it’s tough to be in physical distress, so the mental and physical challenges are often connected. Summer running can be tough, but it gets tougher with the wrong mindset. When you are caught in an inconvenient situation, it is easy to lose focus. Before leaving for a run, make up your mind, prepare yourself to face the challenges posed by the high temperature and power through.

6. Try pre cooling

Lowering your body temperature in the hour before you run in the heat slows the rate at which your core temperature rises once you are out for a run. That translates into being able to run farther or faster than would otherwise be possible in the heat.

The most important thing to remember is to run smarter not faster. Try using these tricks to improve your runs and get closer to your fitness goals.

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