Fitness Magazine

Top Ten List: Tips to "Beat the Heat"

By Disneybrideandgroom
Like most of you reading this, we've got marathons and halfs and challenges looming this fall.  And with that comes the mandatory training runs.
Does anyone else feel like a postman sometimes?
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
The 'swift' part definitely does not apply to me, but the persistence through extreme weather does.
Here is North Florida, we get the most extreme temps in the state.  The coldest winters and the hottest summers.  So, today's topic: How do DisneyGroom and I ' beat the heat' on our summer runs?

1) In summer, we run nearly exclusively on shaded, woodsy trails.  If this is an option for you, give it a try.  It can be up to ten degrees cooler in the shade.
2) Drink ICE COLD water or sports drinks.  Regular water isn't going to lower your body temperature. A 'slushie' drink will.  Add copious amounts of crushed ice to your water or Powerade. Drink one BEFORE your run and carry one to sip during your run.
3) Take a cold shower or jump in a pool or tub BEFORE your run. This will lower your core temperature. So at the very least the first part of your run you will be more comfortable.  If you can take the plunge 'mid-run' even better.  Split up your long runs with a quick swim or find some sprinklers to run through.  It was fun when you were a kid. We promise: it is STILL fun.  I've event started doing some running in light rain.  Thought I would hate it, but I love it.  As long as there is no lightning, you're good!
4) Run early morning, late evening.  Of course try to avoid 10am - 4pm, the hottest part of the day.
5) Long runs: always go with a buddy.  If you feel faint or dizzy, he or she can get help.
6) Put some ice in a bandana, roll it up, and tie loosely around your neck to wear on your run.  As it melts it will keep your neck cool.
7) Wear as little as possible. The 3 Ss of our summer runs:  singlets, shorts, and sunscreen.
8) Wear a lightweight running hat.  Sounds weird, but soak it in cold water before you put it on.  During a long run, occasionally douse your hat/head with water.
9) Drop to and maintain a slower pace than normal.  Insert some walking. Galloway aficionados already know this.  97 degree days are not the time to be smashing PRs.  Hard-core types, I'm talking to you.
10) Forgive yourself if you don't get all your training miles completed.  Be flexible with the training plan.  If you absolutely MUST get in a 14 mile run that day - try 7 miles in the morning, then 7 in the evening.  We are human beings, not cheetahs.  Its okay to slow down.  
If all else fails, try some of the strategies show here by our friends, Mickey, Goofy, and Donald in this "Stayin' Cool" cartoon.
I particularly like Goofy's 'popsicle bath' at 2:25  
Stayin' Cool on Disney Video
We are not medical professionals.  But the advice above came straight from the horse's mouth so to speak.  A local runner/sports medicine doctor provided us these tips on summer running and races.  Please please please use your best judgment when hitting the pavement this summer. Your primary objective should not be to get in all your miles, but to not get heat stroke.  Consult your physician right away if you are getting headaches or don't feel quite right during or after your workouts.  Always take cool showers and rest quietly after your runs. Best to err on side of caution.
Tells us, how do you 'stay cool' on your summer runs?

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