It’s that time of year when the temperatures start to rise, the humidity level goes up, and it’s hard not to break out in a sweat just walking to the mailbox. We’ve put together some of our best summer running tips to help you beat the heat and stay safe this summer.
While hydrating year-round is important, it’s more crucial in the summer. Your body sweats more and becomes dehydrated more easily. Stay on top of your hydration by drinking at least ½ your weight in ounces of water every day (for example, a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces per day). We also recommend taking a handheld water bottle on your runs to stay hydrated along your route as well. Try to drink 4-6 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes on your run.
It’s just as important to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat as it is to stay hydrated. Electrolytes are electrically charged particles that help the body function normally. Some of the more familiar electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium; sodium is the electrolyte lost most in sweat. There are a few ways to maintain the proper electrolyte balance including salt tabs and electrolyte drinks. Be careful when choosing an electrolyte drink—some, such as Gatorade have electrolytes but also contain a high concentration of sugar and calories. We prefer drink tabs like Nuun and Skratch Labs that don’t have the unnecessary junk in them.
Be sure your summer running clothes are made of a good wicking material that will help absorb sweat and keep your body cool. Also avoid dark colors. You may want to consider wearing a hat or visor to keep the sun out of your face. Remember when you dress for a run to consider that you’ll feel 20 degrees warmer than the temperature outside.
Sun Screen/Bug Spray
Even though you’re not lying by the pool on your runs, your skin is still being exposed to the sun. Lather up in a sport sunscreen to avoid getting burned or getting sun damage. For those of you who run the trails, you may also want to apply bug spray to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes and other insects.
Try running in the early morning or late evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. You may also want to carry a cell phone and invest in a type of Road ID should anything unforeseen happen on your runs.