While some love the heat and handle it well even in terms of running training, others suffer from it. We are going provide ten tips for those amongst you who belong to the latter group, but also for everyone else, in order to keep going with your training even during summer.
The early bird gets the worm
Why not set the alarm a little earlier and take advantage of the morning for real? Besides sunrises and a calm atmosphere, mornings are especially suitable in summer thanks to lower temperatures and lower ozone levels. And you just take the amazing feeling after training in the morning with you during the whole day. Ideally, you treat yourself with a delicious runner’s breakfast afterwards.
Running in the forest
Provided you have access, you should move your training into the forest or the shade. There, thanks to trees giving shelter from the sun on the one hand, and dispensing humidity on the other hand, the climate is more comfortable. If you don’t have any forest round the corner, take the bike there. The airflow which you get on the bike is a very welcome refreshment after workout.
Running at high altitude
Train at high altitude in order to espace the heat. At 1500m above sea level the conditions are more pleasant. So, why not, for example, conduct the long run planned for the weekend on a hiking trail and enjoy a refreshing beverage on the patio of a mountain restaurant afterwards?
Try to wet both your shirt and your hair before you start your training. That way, you can prevent/reduce a future heat accumulation. In case you pass by a fountain on the way, refresh yourself again. By the way, this trick works well in competitions, too.
Lower you pace
In extreme conditions like that, your body needs to cool itself down more. This extra effort requires adaptation in terms of intensity. That is, run more slowly than you would in perfect conditions. Heat should even be taken into account when estimating times for competitions and the pace should be chosen accordingly.
Extreme conditions require flexibility
If the conditions overstrain your organism, it is worth putting your training schedule aside for a few days and conduct some «conserving» training only. Some very easy jogging early in the morning, for example. High intensity sessions should be left out during that period.
Alternatives bring change
Jazzing up running training with some alternative sports from time to time makes sense. At high temperatures, alternative sports can be a welcome compensation: on the bike the airflow has a refreshing effect, while for aqua jogging or swimming (which can be done outside or in open waters in summer), protection from the sun is the only thing that may cause problems. Even a hike on high altitude is a good base training.
Take care of your fluid balance
Drink enough and regularly during the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. For running (especially for durations longer than one hour), isotonic beverages containing carbs and natrium enhance the fluid intake of you body. Pure water is harder for your body to take in. For an ideal intake, the beverage should contain 60-80g of carbohydrates and 600-800 mg of natrium per liter.
Wear appropriate clothes
The right gear really matters, as your body needs to be able to release heat. Long pants or sleeves are not ideal. Head covering dams up heat as well, even it fulfils the purpose of sun protection. If you want a head covering, choose one which is air-permeable.
Protect your eyes and skin
Put on sunglasses and sunscreen – both a must! However, in order for the protective factor of sunscreen to operate efficiently and for you not to get the screen into your eyes after a few minutes, you should put it on 45 to 60 minutes before training. Use non-greasy sunscreen, as greasy one makes sweatting difficult.
And don’t forget: Enjoy summer – our body can get used to the heat, too. If you are planning to run a competition at very high temperatures, try to make yourself used to training in the heat and try to gradually expose yourself to the according conditions consciously.