Hot in the city tonight? Baby it’s HOT outside? What’s a runner to do when the thermometer says NO but your training schedule says yes? While heat-related complications are real, here are a few tips to help you keep your cool –and keep running – in the hot summer months.
Pick sunrise or sunset. Your best bet on a hot day is to head out in the early morning or evening, when your shadow is twice as long as you are tall. According to the National Weather Service, exposure to direct sunlight can increase how hot it feels by as many as 15 degrees.
Mind the 90-degree line. When the mercury is above 90 — the temperature of the surface of your skin — you’ll gain heat from the air around you, and your body heat will have nowhere to go. At that tipping point, you’ll sweat more and your body temperature will rise rapidly, making you more susceptible to heat-related illness. Go easy or go inside.
Bottom’s up! Stay well hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least eight cups of water, then make sure to have eight to 12 ounces about 15 minutes prior to your run. Sip three to eight ounces every 15 or 20 minutes as you run, and don’t forget to drink after your workout.
Field the Heat
Higher than 104 degrees:
No-brainer: Move it indoors, because you’re at severe risk of heat-related illness, including heatstroke. A 100-degree day with just 40 percent humidity will feel like 109 degrees.
Between 91 and 103 degrees:
Exercise early in the morning, when it’s coolest, and keep your workout superlight.
Between 80 and 90 degrees:
Keep workouts shorter than usual and moderate.
79 degrees or lower:
Save your long or most challenging runs for these milder days.