If you’re a seasoned running who’s spend the winter all cooped up in the gym pounding away on the treadmill and are now looking to see what summer has to offer by getting out into the great outdoors for your runs, it’s important that you take a few safety considerations into account to ensure that you enjoy these warmer weathered runs.
Many people often think that they can just step outside and away they go, but unless you take a few important considerations into account, you may not enjoy that run as much as you would have hoped.
Let’s have a quick look at what you need to know about running in warm weather so you can make sure you step outside properly.
Think About Hydration
Perhaps the single most important thing that you must be doing as you move your workouts outside is to make sure that you’re taking proper hydration into account.
Staying well hydrated is going to be vital to keeping your performance up, preventing you from feeling light-headed or dizzy, and from also preventing high levels of fatigue to set in.
You should make sure to drink a few glasses of water about 30-45 minutes before you head out to ensure you’re not starting in a dehydrated state and then consume about 8 oz. of water for every 15-20 minutes of running that you do.
The second thing to think about is what you’re wearing. You want to ensure that you stay as comfortable as possible while out enjoying your run, so look for a good shirt and pair of shorts that are made of material that help to whisk away moisture from the body.
These can really make a big difference on how cool you feel during the run and also impact your sweating rate as well.
Know The Difference Between Fatigue And Heat Exhaustion
Another important must-do is to make sure that you learn to recognize the difference between normal fatigue from your workout and actual heat exhaustion.
One key difference is that regular fatigue often feels quite localized – typically when running your leg muscles will start to feel tired and heavy while with heat exhaustion, it impacts your whole body.
You may feel as though you’re not as coordinated as you were and that every movement – even arm movement feels like a huge challenge to complete.
You may also find you feel light-headed or like you’re unable to concentrate, which are both clear signs that you need to slow down or stop to rest.
Heat exhaustion needs to be looked after very immediately and you should not try and ‘push through it’ like you might with muscular fatigue.
Always Wear Sun Protection
The next consideration for running in warm weather is to make sure that you always wear sun protection. Even if the sun isn’t shining very brightly, you can still definitely suffer from a sun burn, making it important to cover up.
Consider investing in a good quality waterproof sun screen so it will outlast sweat or if you are drinking and splash water on the body to help cool down.
Some runners will also wear a hat to shield their eyes and help keep themselves cool so that’s something else that you should consider.
Fuel Up Adequately
Finally, the last consideration for when you’re out enjoying the summer weather with a run is to make sure that you’re still fueling up properly.
One problem some runners run into is that the heat really kills their appetite level and if this occurs, you’re definitely going to be in for problems with recovery and how you feel the rest of the day.
Remember, you are still burning up a high amount of calories on each run you perform and you need to be replacing these calories with food to restore muscle glycogen levels. If you really can’t stand the thought of stomaching a solid meal, turn to protein shakes or the high energy gels that are available to runners to help meet their calorie needs.
If you happen to be out there doing a much longer run that’s moving over the one hour time mark, then you’ll also want to be sure that you’re using a carbohydrate gel or liquid throughout the run in order to stay on top of your energy requirements.
A shortage of fuel could quickly short-circuit an otherwise great run, so you want to be sure you don’t let this happen to you.
So there you have the main things to consider as the weather heats up and you plan to carry out your runs outside.
Running in the summer is something that many individuals really do enjoy, but it must be done safely for benefits to occur.