Summer Running - Have fun on your run in the heat and sun.
Summer running is the best! I love running in the summer probably because I actually have the time to go for a run during this season (I'm a teacher). There are some things to be aware of though when running when it heats up in the summer.
Believe it or not, even in Wisconsin, it can get quite hot. Here are my top tips for making your summer running successful.
1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the summer. Don't pound down a bunch of water just before a run. You need to drink a lot of water hours before you run. When I am out of the house, I carry around a water bottle. I know I have done a good job if I have to fill up my 20 ounce bottle three times in a day. You don't want to go running without being hydrated, especially when it's hot out. You can even take liquids with you on a run. See some hydration packs for sale here.
Don't forget to drink a lot of water after you have finished your run too. This is a step that many people forget. It takes your body a long time to get back all those fluids you lost. Sports drinks are great for replacing the fluids and the sodium that you lost. Don't just slam down 32 ounces of fluids right away. Drink 16 ounces and take an hour break and then drink 16 more. Another sneaky way to rehydrate is eating juicy things like watermelon, or an orange.
2. . Wear tech shirts and shorts. These types of clothes wick the sweat away from your body which keeps you much cooler. I didn't really believe in the stuff until this year when my wife bought me some. It sure makes a difference compared to cotton clothes. You can compare prices right here for running tech shirts and shorts.
3. Run at a cooler time of day. When I know the day time temperature will be too hot for me, I wake up a bit early and get my run done in the morning. IThat usually is the coolest time of the day. You could also wait until dusk when the sun is about to set. It is still pretty hot at this time, but at least the sun won't be bearing down on you. If you run when it is darker, don't forget your bright colored clothes so cars see you. Some people say to stay inside and run on the treadmill. I hate the treadmill! Do what you can to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, even if it is only for a short run in the heat.
4. If you can't workout during a cooler time of day, find a shady route to run. I live near some State Parks with awesome trails to run on. If I can't find time to run in the morning or late evening, I'll hit the trails. It really is remarkable how much cooler it is in a shaded woods area as you run. When you run on the trails, you might need bug spray. The trails I run at have deer flies and mosquitoes galore. I have to wear deep woods off or Bullfrog (a combination bug spray and sunscreen).
5. If you are running when it is very sunny, wear sunscreen. Because of my supreme masculinity, I have male pattern baldness. I try to justify my hair loss with the masculine thing by the way. I have to put sunscreen on my head, face and neck before a run during the day. If I am running without my shirt, I make sure to get my shoulders too. This sounds weird to some, but my wife will put sunscreen where she parts her hair. She said she has gotten some nasty burns on her head when she forgets about this. Make sure you buy sport sunscreenbecause it stays on even if you sweat. Also the sports type can help your body by allowing it to sweat instead of clogging up your sweat glands.
6. Another way to keep the sun off you is to wear a hat. There are hats that are specifically designed for running. They breathe better, and are usually a light color, which reflects the sun's rays. A hat also helps me when I run on the shadier trails, because bugs tend to buzz at my head as I run. The hat keeps them away a little bit.
7. My personal favorite and final tip. Run to the water!. I have a son and daughter that absolutely love playing in their kiddie pool. I will make sure it is filled up before I go for a run and then sit in it right when I finish. I also will run through any sprinkler I see on a run. Sometimes I design a run so I finish at a nearby lake and just run right in at the end of my journey. Doing stuff like this makes running quite fun and exciting. Try it. You'll feel like a kid again.
I hope these tips help you with your summer running. It's a great season to get in shape. Now get out that door, enjoy the sun and have some fun on your run.