What has pale skin, red hair and freckles all over?
Um, me. This gal. This little lady who loves to run. And I admit, I loveeee the heat. I love the beach, I love hot, humid nights, but its unfortunate that the heat does not like me. I sunburn easily and I die when it comes to hot weather running.
Turns out, most of us fare better in cool weather temps. The average pace in winter is about 1 minute per mile faster (yikes, that's a lot), and that has a lot to do with annoying-ole'-homeostasis. Hot weather running + homeostasis do not mix.
Our body is constantly working to keep our core at a steady temperature, and physical activity in the 100*F heat kinda messes with the bod's plans. Our body keeps us cool by sweating and then relying on that sweat to evaporate off of us to dissipate the heat...and on humid days, when the air is heavy with water, its difficult for our bodies to regulate the system.
Lucky for you, I've got some tips to help ya adapt so you can run in the heat like it ain't no thang. No, they won't be super easy to implement, but yes, they will help.
And don't forget to read my post on hydration.
Top Tips to Run like a Boss in the Heat
Okay, sure, I already think you're cool enough ;) ...However your body's regulatory systems do not seem to agree.
According to a review of evidence, the best way to "pre-cool" off before going outside to run in hot temperatures (>82.4*F) is to take a cold shower or bath (below 92*F). Lowering an athlete's "core" temperature before running outside in the heat is thought to increase how long it takes your body to reach a "core" temp that will reduce performance and/or lead to exhaustion. The caveat? Ya should shower in that chilly water for 30-60 minutes to reap the benefits...but, I don't know, I think whatever you can handle should be better than nothing!
If taking a cold shower is not practical, then consider quickly ingesting an ice slurry, which is also thought to reduce core temperature. While "cooling" garments are a convenient temptation, they are not shown to be effective in reducing body temps.
2. Let the Sweat Drop.
Ain't nothing than the feeling of sticky sweat?! AM I RIGHT?
I know. Its awful. I hate it, but your bod loves it. Your super intelligent body is producing all that sweat for a reason, so as tempting as it is to wipe it away... just leave it be. As it dissipates, your body cools off. Don't you want to feel cooler?!
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Some of us acclimate quicker than others due to genetics, but eventually we will all acclimate to this hot, hot weather. The more regularly you exercise outside in the heat, the more quickly you'll find your sticky-speedy legs. As we train in hot weather, our "core" temperature actually decreases so it takes us longer to "heat up internally," we learn to sweat sooner (ick, I know), and our cardiovascular system works better.
Which of these tactics will you start using ASAP? Comment below and lemme know... and don't forget to sign up for my email list to get a free meal plan made for runners, a supplement guide for endurance athletes, and lots of free goodies.