What heat! Running in summer may does not feel as good as at other times of the year, and it shows, at this point we do not see as many people running as in Spring or Autumn.
But those who have an autumn marathon on the horizon have no choice but to start preparing under the summer heat. In addition, although the summer has its vacations and its moments of rest, it is not advisable to stop exercising completely, and less if we do not want to lose the form that has cost us to earn in the last months.
Anyway there are some people, runners or not, that don’t mind and even enjoy high temperatures to practice sports. As we always say, firstly we have to listen to our body. Running when the heat is on has some also benefits because our muscles don’t need so much time to warm up (for example). As long you are well hydrated you can perfectly run even in plain summer.
Today we are going to give some general tips so that the summer training is not so hard and feels more like slippers.
1.- Train without sun
The first is the most obvious: to train when the heat is less, and that is usually before dawn and when dawn ends. You can also leave when the sun has set, in the late afternoon, even at night if we train in the city.
The important thing is to avoid the central hours of the day, and if we have no other choice than to leave at noon, we must try to run in the shade or simply resort to the treadmill or strengthening at home or in the gym.
2.- Run near water or on grass
Training with the presence of water makes conditions, in general, cooler. If you live on the coast, running on the beach promenade is a very good option, since the breeze will mitigate the heat.
If you live in the interior, a lake or a river also makes the conditions not so hard.
Also, if you have a park nearby, the grass causes the temperature to drop a little, so, in addition to being a good surface for running, since it cushions the impact, it can be used for very hot days.
3.- Hydration, hydration, hydration
It is the most important point. You have to hydrate, and not only during training. You have to drink around half a liter of water before going out to run. If you think you need less, then not so much to avoid flatulence or heaviness.
If you do not usually drink isotonic, in the summer it is advisable if you tend to sweat a lot, especially to recover mineral salts.
When the training lasts more than 45 minutes, it is best to bring a container with water or isotonic drink, and if you are going to go over 1h15-1h30, you will have to wear a belt or have a source located to fill the container.
After training, you must also drink to recover fluids and, if the training has been intense, take a pill of electrolytes or a drink that already takes them.
It is the most important advice because if it is not followed, running with a lot of heat can be dangerous.
4.- Do not wear dark or tight clothing
If the sun has already risen, do not wear dark clothing (black, especially), because it will “catch” the sun’s rays and the sensation of heat will rise. For pants and leggings there are not many options, but it will be better if the T-shirt is white, yellow or another light color.
It is also recommended that it be loose to avoid the burden of lycra.
You have to avoid compression clothing on these dates, only socks or stockings if it is to mitigate the effect of injury.
5.- Take hold of some sunscreen
If the training will last more than 20 or 30 minutes, it is advisable to put on sunscreen before leaving home. And this goes, not only for summer, but for the whole year, especially if you live in a province where you are hit hard almost all year.
Use the factor that best suits your skin and, when you return home, put aloe vera cream on your face so it does not get damaged.
6.- Cap or visor
Although it may seem silly, wearing a hat or not can change the training completely. If the sun has already risen, the rays hitting the head directly can cause the thermal sensation to rise a lot and you cannot finish the training.
But keep in mind that body heat is also expelled from the head, so try to make the cap not too thick, or have mesh so that the heat does not get trapped.
If you have a lot of sensitivity in the eyes, a pair of sunglasses can avoid a lot of trouble in the future.
There are many options in the market with a wide range of prices. You pay for the brand, but also the weight, comfort and materials, assuming that all have the EU certification.
If you have never used them and after summer workouts you feel that you do not see so well, consider taking the plunge.
8.- Take it easy
The heat of summer can be treacherous and, if the training is very intense, you can end up fooling yourself.
If you are preparing for an important race for September or October, it will be inevitable to put days of series or the occasional intense training session. Keep in mind all of these recommendations, but if you cannot complete it one day, let it be, especially on the days when the thermometer reaches more than 35ºC.
And if you are not preparing anything specific, it is the best time of the year to lower the accelerator and do maintenance workouts, try not to run more than one hour at a time, make the odd progression so as not to lose speed and strengthen in the gym or at home.