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When Running Heats Up

Not all of us can take our run indoors to escape Memphis’s heat. And some of us consider the “dreadmill” less desirable than a root canal. As uncomfortable as it is to run outside, we can still run through the summer and arrive at fall unscathed. Following are several tips to help you make it through those days when you feel like you’re breathing through a shirt and running into a hairdryer.

WEAR LIGHTWEIGHT, TECHNICAL APPAREL.

  • Technical fabrics are lightweight, breathable, manage moisture, and often contain UV protection—perfect for summer runs.
  • Do not forget to protect the skin that is most exposed. Wear a shirt that covers your shoulders and upper arms.
  • Wearing sunglasses will reduce tension in the face, neck, and shoulders, resulting in a more relaxed run.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!

  • Drink when thirsty—all day, every day.
  • Drink before you run and carry fluid with you. Drink 4-6 ounces every 15 minutes.
  • Water is great for workouts of 60 minutes or less. For longer efforts, an electrolyte drink is beneficial.
  • Drink 16-20 ounces of fluids while you cool down.

AVOID THE HEAT WHEN POSSIBLE.

  • Running early in the morning or later in the evening is the most practical way to avoid the day’s highest temperature.
  • If you’re forced to run in the heat of the day, look for shade along the run or strategically plan shaded routes.

ADJUST YOUR PACE.

  • Start your runs slowly and expect to run slower than you would in normal conditions.
  • You should expect to run a minute per mile slower (maybe more) during the summer months in Memphis.

ADJUST YOUR DISTANCE.

  • A 15-20% decrease in the distance of a run is not worth stressing over if the alternative is exhaustion that ruins the remainder of the week’s runs.
  • Do not be afraid to turn that 6 mile run into a 4-5 mile run, or that 14 mile run into a 12 mile effort. Trust me, you’re still doing the work.

ALLOW TIME FOR THE BODY TO ACCLIMATIZE TO THE HEAT.

  • The onset of the summer’s heat requires a period of time for the body to simply adjust to the dramatic changes taking place, both intrinsically and extrinsically.10-14 days is suffice for most athletes’ bodies to become more comfortable in the heat.
  • Heed the pace/distance points made earlier, especially during this phase.

BE SMART!

  • Know the warning signs of heat-related illnesses.
  • Should you feel dizzy, nauseous, over-heated, or suddenly have chills, STOP and WALK.Get out of the sun and get fluids back into your system.
  • Your health is not worth the effort of one, single run.

Do you have questions about getting started or finding a plan to work for you? Stop in and talk to anyone on our staff. We’ll be happy to help!

Feb is the General Manager and Footwear Buyer at Fleet Feet Sports. Most of his decisions are determined by rock, paper, scissors. For more information call (901) 761-0078 or visit our website at fleetfeetmemphis.com.

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