« Health & Fitness

Tips on how to beat the heat and stay cool when running

by Michael Louden

Now that it is officially summer, the weather is bound to warm up here in Michigan.  (I hope we do not get the sweltering heat we got last summer.)  With that in mind here are a few tips I have to help all of the runners stay as cool as possible during the summer heat.

1.)   Run as early as possible- The earlier in the day you run, the better.  It is cooler in the morning and it will not be as humid.  I am not saying you have to get up at 5 a.m., but I would not start your run no later than 10 a.m.  Avoid running between noon and 4 p.m. as this is when the heating of the day is happening.  If you cannot run in the morning than an evening run would work as well.  The best time to start an evening run is 7 p.m. or later.  It will still be warm, but the heating of the day will be over by this point.

2.)  Wear light colored clothing-  Remember from your science classes back in school that white reflects light and black absorbs light.  Therefore anything white would be preferable as the heat will not be absorbed into your shirt.  The same can be said for your shorts and socks, keep them a light color as well.

3.)  Wear clothes made of polyester- Polyester is a material that will not hold water.  This means when you sweat all of the water will be absorbed to the front of your shirt or shorts and away from your body, therefore keeping your body cool and water away from your skin so your pores will be able to breathe.  This way your body will not shut down on you.

4.)  Hydrate- This is really important for a runner.  It has been said you should drink 8 cups of water each day.  Also on hot days it is best to carry a water bottle with you either on your hip or in your hand.  You do not want to be out for a run and all of a sudden get painful cramps or worse faint due to heat exhaustion.  Also after your run do not just re-hydrate with water, but drink some Gatorade, Powerade, and even chocolate milk has been known to help replace electrolytes.

5.)  Become heat acclimated-  When it gets warm it is best to run a little slower than your average pace for about two weeks as this is how long it takes for body to become use to the heat and humidity you will be running in for the rest of the summer.

If you would like some other tips check out these articles on Active or Gazelle Sports .