Beat the Heat This Summer
Written By: SportsShoes
The heat is on and your effort levels are up. The summer heat takes its toll on all runners as the body works extra hard to deal with excess heat produced while running. This impacts on performance, and potentially leads to dehydration and even heat exhaustion. Beat the heat and maximise your training with our warm weather running tips.
Run at the Coolest Time of Day
It's simple but it makes sense. Avoid running in the middle of the day between 12 and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. A run in the cool of a summer's morning or during a summer sunset makes all the difference to struggling through midday heat.
Run to Perceived Effort
As the body sends blood to the skin capillaries to aid cooling, blood volume drops and the heart works harder to sustain workload, meaning relative intensity and effort level increase and you'll max out faster. Forget average pace, adjust for heat and humidity, and concentrate on feel and effort during your session.
Wear Breathable Fabrics
The body's key way of cooling is through sweat evaporation. And sweat must evaporate off the skin to have a cooling effect. Technical fabrics aid cooling by wicking sweat off the skin and into the fabric fibre. This aids evaporation and assists the body's cooling mechanism. Wear loose, light clothing made from technical fabrics and avoid cotton which holds on to sweat and hinders evaporation.
Keeping key heat areas ventilated also assists the cooling process. Look for mesh panels at the knee and under arms. Many running shoes also now feature integrated ventilation such as Mizuno's Intercool, for cool, dry feet.
It follows that staying hydrated pre and post run is crucial to evaporative cooling. On average you'll lose one litre of fluid per hour of exercise, and extreme heat and humidity can increase that to up to 3 litres. On longer warm weather runs take a hydration pack or bottle belt with you, or stash water bottles along your planned route.
Be Aware of the Impact of Humidity
Humidity makes it harder for sweat to evaporate because the air is already saturated with water. This means that although you may be sweating, there is little cooling effect and you should adjust intensity accordingly.