Adjusting to the change of seasons can be grueling for a runner. When temperatures change quickly, it can be dangerous since the body hasn’t had a change to adjust yet.
The Hubby experienced this first hand on Memorial Day Weekend. We’ve had a very cool spring here in Maryland. We really haven’t had a spring season at all. We traveled to Ohio for the holiday weekend for the Medina Half Marathon. That Saturday was the hottest day all weekend. By 6:30am, it was already 70 degrees. By the time he finished at 8:40, the temperature had already risen to 83 degrees. I could hear radio transmissions as paramedics pulled people off the course. No doubt from heat exhaustion and possibly dehydration.
The Hubby had been hydrating for a couple days in preparation for the weather. As a front of the pack runner, he was on the course for much less time than most runners. The Hubby said it was so hot he thought many times about quitting and that’s not like him at all! None of our running club runs have been in warm weather yet this season and his body just wasn’t ready for that drastic of a temperature change. When he finished the race, he drank three chocolate milks and almost two waters as soon as he finished.
When heat and humidity are a factor in a training run or a race, it can become dangerous fast. Here are some tips to train as safely as possible during the heat of the summer months.
Run with a hydration pack.
Run before sunrise or after sunset.
On red alert weather days, skip the road and trail running and opt instead for deep water jogging in the pool.
If you have access to an indoor track, consider running indoors in an air conditioned environment. If not, you can always resort to the treadmill.
If you must run outdoors, select a shady course. The presence of the tree cover will provide a cooler environment.
Although you may be tempted to wear a hat, choose a visor instead. A hat will trap in the heat and cause your body temperature to rise faster. Also, consider pouring a little water over your head every 20-30 minutes during your run to cool yourself off. You can also drape a cool, wet cloth around your neck before heading out for your run. Continue rewetting as necessary for long runs.
Don’t be afraid to take a walk break or use a run/walk method for your training.
Slow down! Decreasing your pace can also help keep you out of the danger zone.
How do you avoid heat exhaustion during summer training sessions?