First, a little bit of local news. Las Vegas is not in 100+F temps, year round and yes, I do own several winter coats. Last year at this time, we were dealing with an unbearable heat wave. It was over 120F, every day for 2 weeks. We are barely over 100F+ - so we have a summer cold snap.
I get asked all the time how I deal with the heat. It's a great question because if any competitive runner wants to race in the Fall, we must train through the summer.
I have one medical situation, that throws me for a loop. Running over 6 miles in 80F+ temps, shuts me down & I overheat to very dangerous levels. It was confirmed awhile back that my metabolic rate keeps my body from cooling off, at a normal rate.
So, that means I have to be creative when training through the summer. The only other option is not to train and that is not happening.
The tips I am giving you, does not promise A/C coolness - but it can provide a certain level of comfort and manageability.
1. Choose a different time to run. You might have to get up at 3am to get out the door by 4am to get some runs in before the sunrises.
2. Run at night, after sundown. This is my favorite time to run. I know the longer I run, the cooler it gets. If I run in the AM, it get warmer with every moment.
3. Split them up your long run days. Run part in the AM and part in the Evening.
4. Eat water loaded foods. Such as watermelon, cucumbers, honeydew, tomatoes and more.
5. Don't live in an extreme cool home. Why? Going outside will always seem too hot. Make yourself comfortable, but it doesn't have to be icebox cold in your home. This also saves on your electric bill.
6. When running, plan your routes to be near businesses like gas stations, stores and etc. This way, if you feel overheated, you can step inside and cool off.
7. Plan routes with shade covering.
8. Wear a hat or visor. I cannot wear a hat (I over heat) but I wear a visor to keep the sun off my face.
9. Wearing cooling gear. There is a plethora of gear that promotes coolness. Arm sleeves, shorts and shirts. I found some great options on Amazon.com but you can also find shirts at your favorite running store. While these are a little pricey, they are very worth the money as you will be wearing them for a few years.
The key in staying cooler in the summer is to prepare and be smart. Plan your runs to ensure you have enough hydration, cooling stops and you do not over do it.
Summer is not the time to set PR's, but to train. Dial it back in speed and you will be rewarded in the Fall/Winter. In those tough moments, remember what you are training for.
Lastly, if it the weather is just too hot (welcome to my world!) - hop on the treadmill. I bought a treadmill for that very reason, to run when the weather was too hot. If you cannot invest in one, it's time to get to the gym or maybe you have a friend you can run on their treadmill.
Every workout counts. Don't brush aside a workout because the weather isn't perfect. Find a way and stay safe!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-14
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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