It’s that time again runners…SUMMER. No matter where you run, you will most likely battle some kind of summertime evil …humidity, high heat indexes, warm temps, or worse…all 3! While we aren’t always great at listening to our bodies when we run, StartLine Racing wants to make sure you are taking care of yourself in the summer heat, especially if you are joining us for our 2018 5K Arizona Sunrise Series . So for those of us who hit the summertime pavement, here are some tips to stay healthy and safe.
- Hydrate (duh) – Yes, Arizona is a dry heat, but sometimes, without proper planning, that can be worse. Dry air evaporates sweat from your body almost as quickly as you’re producing it so you can become dehydrated much more quickly. If you start a run slightly dehydrated or run long without any fluids, your performance will decrease and you’ll feel like dying too. Make sure to always hydrate prior to the start of your run, drink to thirst while on your run and hydrate well after your run.
- Run by Effort – Summertime running may not always be the best time to work on PR’s and pace. Even if you’re training for a fall marathon. Spend time in the heat running by effort and time spent running. Pay attention more to how your body feels and adjust accordingly. The heat can seriously wreak havoc with your heart rate and performance. So take the watch off, plug-in the music and run by feel and don’t freak out when your pace decreases a little. You are still out there moving and getting in the miles. Remember fall PR’s are built in the summer.
- Best Times to Run – One of the hardest summer adjustments I struggle with is getting up at the crack of dawn to get my miles in, but if you want to get in the miles, then that alarm is going off WAY early. Let’s face it, 90% of the races we run are early morning starts…so it’s good practice anyway If the morning isn’t your thing, then aim for late evening runs when you will still battle the heat from the day, but at least not the direct sun. Try your best to avoid running in the heat of the middle of the day.
- Dress to Run – Running in the summer should have you trying out all your light-colored, tech fabric gear. Stay away from dark colors and cottons. They will not only attract the heat, but hold on to the sweat and become heavy…not to mention all the possible chaffing…Body Glide anyone? Running gear that is a little looser also allows your body to stay cooler. More importantly, especially in the crazy Arizona sun, make sure to use sunscreen, a hat or visor and sunglasses. Want some great StartLine Racing gear to spruce up your summer gear collection? Check out the online store Shop SLR.
- Location, location, location – If you can’t escape the Arizona summer, and we all know that means more than putting up with June through August heat, then at least try to escape the black asphalt roads. Look for trails and running paths that may have shade or even a water source somewhere nearby where you can refill your water and maybe cool off a little.
Just because it is warm out…ok, ok REALLY freaking hot out, it doesn’t mean you have to give up running outside, or running at all. Just make sure to take care of yourself and listen to your body. Remember the worst runs are the ones you don’t do, not the ones you take slow in the summertime heat.