I felt like we had been spoiled the early part of this summer as far as weather goes. Lots of rain in June (maybe too much) helped keep temperatures down, which made for incredible training weather. However, over the fast 2-3 weeks, the temperature has returned to the levels that we all know/expect/love. Because of that, I wanted to post some tips for running through the heat:
1) Hydrate - Although water is typically the best pre-run hydrator, if you know you are going to lose a lot of sweat in the heat, drink 16 ounces of a sports drink about an hour before you head out. The key to these drinks is that they contain electrolytes, which increases your water-absorption rate and replaces the electrolytes you lose in sweat.
2) Be Flexible - If you know it's going to be hot and that you won't have a chance to run until after work, consider moving that day's long or high-intensity workout to a different day. If you have to run in the sun, pick routes with shade (I'm thinking the clockwise loop starting at the store).
5) Be Patient - It takes 8-14 days to acclimate to hot weather. Over that time, your body will learn to lower your heart rate, decreased your core temperature and increase your sweat rate.
6) Get an Early Start - I know it's tough to wake up, but running in the heat is SO much better if you get it done in the cool of the day. Even on a day like today where I woke up at 5am to run in 77 degree weather, it is a thousand times better than what it will be later today. PLUS, I don't have to worry about it the rest of the day. I can just spend my Friday enjoying that it's already done. If you are just reading this now and didn't get out in the morning, wait until evening. The sun's rays aren't as strong, but don't run so late that it keeps you from falling asleep.
7) Slow Down - Every 5 degree increase in temperature about 60 degrees can slow you down by as much as 20-30 seconds per mile. Knowing that going into every run in the heat will help you survive.
8) Hydrate - Am I making a point with this? I've got one of these 605 Runing Company Nalgene bottles sitting at my desk with 20 ounces of water in it (well, now 16 because I've been hydrating while I write this post). If you get tired of the taste of water, it's easy to throw in some Nuun to spice it up a little. For me, I'm fine with plain old, boring water flavored water.
Anyway, there's a lot of information here, but hopefully you can pick a way or two that will help you continue training through this late summer/early fall; especially #'s 1, 4 and 8.