Running in the heat is tough, but do it anyway

in #fitness2 months ago

Now that we are in the dead of summer, it becomes easier and easier to just sit next to the air con unit and stay indoors, perhaps convincing yourself that you will go running tomorrow - or someday. But just like Creedence Clearwater Revival says "but someday, never comes."

I really feel that it is important to get out there and do "something" even if that something is a rather weak attempt compared to what you know you are capable of and during the summer where the temperatures are sometimes in excess of 100 degrees F, you gotta be careful... But you should still do it.

Here are some tips that I use in order to get my body moving regardless of the heat.


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Start out hydrated

Obviously, you are going to sweat a LOT more when it is this hot and this is why I make sure that I drink more water than I normally would prior to ever going out. I don't go crazy with it because I don't want to have a bunch of water sloshing around in my belly that is going to give me a cramp, but mostly my daily routine consists of skipping the all day coffee and instead chugging down glass after glass of water. This has made a big difference when I am out there on the trails and sidewalks and while it might not be what the "experts" recommend, it works for me!

Avoid mid day


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Did you ever try to fry an egg on the street as a kid? Well you can definitely accomplish that this time of year where I am and that is a pretty frightening though if you think that this same heat is cooking you the entire time you run. While it is obvious that the heat is at its highest at mid-day, it is still important to remember that you have an entire 20 additional hours to choose when to go jogging and I don't mean crazy times of day like 4am either. Because I live in a populated area, waiting until 5:15 PM means that there are going to be tons of other people running at those times, so I avoid those as well. From what I have discovered, simply waiting until 3 or even 2 pm makes a world of difference, if you make the correct route choices.

Which brings me to my next point

Change your route


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Yeah, those park trails are the best, especially if you live in a very populated area like I do, but they also happen to be in areas where you are going to be in direct sunlight more often than not. Therefore, if I do go running in the afternoon, I change my path to be in the shade of the tall buildings that are all around. Imagine that? Running in the shade is so much more enjoyable than in the sun! Whoda thunk it? Since my city is a grid of sorts, this is very easy to sort out and I can remain in the shade almost my entire path. This makes a massive difference.

These side streets are basically abandoned during the day where I live because most people have "regular jobs" and these areas are almost entirely residential. While I realize this isn't an option for a lot of people, I can run at 3pm and get away with it and with the right planning, still be in the shade all the time.

Have an escape plan

Again, this applies to route planning a great deal. When I plan my route it isn't terribly scientific but I always have a bailout plan if I start to get too hot or start feeling like heat exhaustion is kicking in. Remember, you can die from this so it is important during the summer to not try to be a hero. I try to realize my limits and always have a quick way to get back home should things start to badly. Since I do not carry water with me (I used to carry a bottle that was frozen solid but it doesn't really work like you would think) I need to know that I can return home quickly if need be.

Slow the F**k down!

All part of your body react to the heat including your heart's ability to keep up with blood-flow as it struggles to deal with cooling your body down. I CAN run 5 min km (might not be impressive to real runners out there) but I don't even try to make this happen in the summer months because I know I will regret it if I do attempt that. Normally, I will slow down and do 6.5 or even 7 minute km in this heat because of the toll that the heat takes on my body. I have found that while this isn't going to impress my Strava readouts, it is still a lot more exercise than I would be getting in the middle of my living room.


All in all, I truly feel it is important to get some level of exercise every day even if the weather doesn't want to cooperate with your routine. Even if you do significantly less work than you would do in ideal conditions, getting out there and just doing something is all that I need (and I think most other normal people) in order to maintain my current level of physical fitness. I try to live a life of not making excuses and it being "too hot" is just another one in a long line of reasons that people will use to not get exercise. Get out there and make it happen, but do it sensibly.


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Support. It is hard to force yourself to run, and even more so in the heat, but it is necessary to maintain health and a good figure

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