Friday, July 22, 2011

10 Ways to Stay Cooler When You Run

Running in the summer in Arizona can be compared with cooking over a hot stove wearing a full length mink coat in a sauna. It's hot, sweaty, miserable and you always feel like you have little hairs, gnats and dirt in your eyes and plastered to your face. Not only physically is it challenging but the mental attitude goes downhill as your run continues.

What can you do when it gets hot?

  1. The obvious is stay hydrated.  You may chose to drink Gatorade or some other sports drink to replace electrolytes.
  2. Add ice cubes or freeze your water for your run.  Having cold water can be refreshing and add bounce to your step...until the run outlasts the cold water.  Camelbak has chill bottles which advertise to keep water cold for hours.
  3. Use a cool off bandanna found at Zombie Runner.  These unique bandanna's have a chamois built in and can be soaked with cold water or filled with ice.
  4. Wear a visor as compared to a hat.  The visor allows heat to escape from your head and keeps your eyes shaded also.
  5. Wear sunglasses.  There is something mentally cooling by having it be just a shade darker.
  6. Run behind a tall person so they make shade for you. (The same does not apply for someone farting in front of you creating more air flow)
  7. Don't run outside.   You can run inside on the dreadmill or if the dreadmill isn't your thing try swimming or biking instead.
  8. Dress what's comfortable for you.  Some people say don't wear form fitting clothes, or wear sleeveless, others say wear long sleeves with UV protection and one site even said wear long sleeve cotton because the sweat will help keep you cool. If you feel comfortable (or as comfortable as you can in 100+ degree heat) you'll be happier and do better on your run.
  9. Run in the morning or evening.  Try and avoid running when the sun is out.  It will still be hot but the direct sunlight won't be messing with your mind.
  10. Allow yourself to be slower.  Your pace is going to be slower. That's the nature of running in the heat.  Keep your effort up and try your best for the conditions you are running in but if you're slower that's ok.  You're still getting out there, burning off the hamburger and fries you had for lunch and staying active.
How do you stay cool on your runs?

Happy Running!


Teamarcia said...

Great post and very timely as I have a half marathon tomorrow! If possible,I find a shaded route and run very early in the am.

Black Knight said...

Very good tips. I think here it is not as hot as in Arizona.
I have the "dreadmill" but I never use it. In summer I run in early morning trying to find a shaded route with some fountains. Moreover I reduce the mileage.

Giorgio said...

At first hydratation! Great list Christina! I'd add "eat more fruits and vegetables". Although in Italy weather isn't as hot as Arizona, because the biggest part of our country is bounded by the Mediterranean sea, I sometimes try to run next to tall trees and vegetation ... of course in the early morning or evening :)
Have a nice running weekend!