Its a Raging Inferno Outside: Tips to Beat the HEAT

Its hot outside (maybe an understatement). At noon today its about 85 degrees with a heat index at 92 and 68% humidity! The prediction for today is 98 degrees with heat indexes around 105! The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for today and also one for tomorrow with predictions for 97 degrees and a similar heat index. UGH!

I guess its time for some hot weather running tips! There is a lot out there about this topic, so here is a compilation of advice from all the running experts and actually Runner’s World did a big feature on this topic in a recent issue.

  1. Hydration is a must! Drink before, during, and after your runs. You can lose between 6-12oz of fluid per 20 minutes of running. Be careful with overhydration, if you are on a long run be sure to include some type of sugar such as Gatorade. A good indication of your fluid intake is your urine color (the darker the less hydrated you are). Also go ahead and pour some water over your body it will help cool you off! Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.
  2. Run early, late, and in the shade. I guess running indoors works too, but not an option I really like! Trying to finish your run before the temperatures really start to rise is the best idea, otherwise a late night run is best. Running in the shade and avoiding blacktop surfaces will also help keep you cooler. You can also split up your workout between a morning and night or do some cross training.
  3. Watch your pace – your times might be a little slower than normal, don’t push yourself too hard and be patient. Some would also say to start out a little slower than normal to prevent a serious time drop later in your run.
  4. Wear light-weight, light-colored, and loose clothing with SPF in them. This includes light-colored moisture-wicking socks to help keep your feet cooler. Experts differ on wearing hats and long-sleeved shirts. Depending on your specific case they might be helpful, I doubt in Indiana we need to worry about wearing long-sleeved shirts, but I don’t know about hats. They can provide a needed respite from the sun, but they also hinder the escape of heat from our body. Using a cold, wet, or even frozen bandana wrapped around your neck or head is a good way to keep you cool, but once its lost its cool it might be a hindrance by keeping heat at your body. Wrapping a cold sponge with ice cubes can also be helpful.
  5. Watch for symptoms of heat-related illness:
    1. Leg cramps, dizziness, increased heart rate, headache, and nausea are the initial symptoms of heat exhaustion, which could lead to (possibly fatal) heat stroke. Anyone experiencing these indicators should stop exercising immediately, get to a cool place, and continue to hydrate slowly. If you cannot keep fluids down, go to the emergency room.
    2. Other symptoms include confusion, loss of muscle control, clammy skin, feeling faint.
    3. If you stop sweating, have a throbbing headache or red, hot, dry skin seek immediate medical attention.
  6. Group running is more important so you can keep an eye on each other and provide assistance as needed.
  7. Stay rested – ensure you are getting at least a normal amount if not more sleep.
  8. Stay nourished – it is hard to eat or cook sometimes when it is so hot, but staying properly nourished will help your body fight the heat! Eating things like salad or fruits will help with hydration because of their high water content.

You can’t beat the heat. Nobody can–that is, nobody can race up to their potential in hot conditions. – Truman Clark

Hear is a link about indoor training. Also check out Gatorade’s hydration strategies website.

Sources for today’s post:

Also check out this Indy Star article about hiking (running) trails at Turkey Run State Park.

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3 thoughts on “Its a Raging Inferno Outside: Tips to Beat the HEAT

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