Adjusting to the Heat

Warmer temps, higher humidity, and soaring heat indexes are right around the corner! I was reminded of the humidity this week, and it’s not even hot yet!  It usually takes me a few weeks to really adjust to the warmer temps and higher humidity, just the same as it takes a few weeks for my body to adjust to the cooler, dry air of winter.  I’ve become more accepting to the transition period, and today I wanted to share some of my tips with you.

•  Don’t worry about pace; run on effort.  It’s easy to be upset with yourself when you’re not hitting the paces you’re used to, but it’s more of a challenge for your body, so ditch the watch or don’t look at it, and run by feel for a few weeks.  Your paces will come back down once your body adjusts.

• Take water along with you, or stage water bottles ahead of time.  Warmer temps mean (for me at least) more sweating.  I find that I need water sooner than I did 10 degrees cooler.  I either take my water with me or stage water bottles ahead of time.  Most drinking fountains at parks are also on by now, so as it warms up, take note of where the water stops are.

• Be prepared to change the time of day that you run.  During the heat of summer, I run early in the morning, before work.  I do most of my runs in the evening, after work.  As it’s getting warmer, late afternoon is one of the warmest times of the day.  I despise getting up early, but sometimes it becomes necessary to run before work, to avoid some of the dangerous heat.

• Wear sunscreen, and a visor/hat.  As the temperatures rise, you need to protect yourself from the warmth of the sun.  Sunscreen is a good idea any time of the year, but it’s even more important with the extra daylight during the hot months.  Wearing a hat or visor will also help keep your face shaded.

Photo May 07, 11 11 13 AM

Don’t be afraid to walk or cut the run short if you’re feeling drained.  It takes a few weeks to adjust to the higher temps.  Add in humidity, and it’s even tougher to adjust.  It’s never wise to push it and end up with heat stroke or an injury.  Play it safe and listen to your body during the adjustment period, and sooner than you think, you’ll be ready to run safely in the heat!

Do you have any tips for acclimating to running in the heat and humidity?


Thursday’s Three: Morning Running

Some people are morning people.  They love waking up before the sun, starting their days as early birds.  Some are night people.  They stay up to all hours of the night, and get more done after everyone else goes to bed.  Me? I’m neither.  I HATE getting up early, and I’m ready to slumber when the sun goes down.

Let’s add in some Kansas summer heat and humidity into the mix.  I typically run after work during the week.  It’s WAY too hot to run after work, with temperatures in the high 90s, and humidity levels around 70-80%, and it ends up feeling like well over 100 degrees!  I’m all about running in the elements, but running when it’s that hot, humid, and sunny, well, that can be dangerous!

So what are my options?  I could run on the treadmill after work, but I hate the treadmill almost as much as I hate getting up early! I could not run, but that’s not really an option, now, is it?!  I’ve decided that getting up early (with the help of my running partner) is the best option!  For Thursday’s Three, I have my three favorite and three least favorite things about early morning running!runningecardBest things about running in the early morning:

1.  I get to see the sun rise.  It’s gorgeous every single day, and most days, I’m still in bed for it! I definitely need to see more sunrises.

2.  Lots of water intake early!  I typically drink 100-125 ounces of water per day, and I’ve noticed that the mornings I get up and run before work, I can easily have 80-90 ounces of water before noon!

3.  My run is DONE and I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.  I know I can just go home and relax after work.

Worst things about running in the early morning:

1.  Dang, it’s early.  Nobody should get up in the 4’s; the 4:00 hour is for sleeping!

2.  I have to pee so much in the morning (see: water consumption, above).  Also, I want to eat lunch at 10:00am!

3.  I kind of don’t know what day it is, without my scheduled runs in the evenings! I’ve had an evening running schedule for so long, that I have to think about what day it is when the run is done before work.

I’d love to know if you are a morning or evening runner, and what you do in this crazy heat.  And a huge special shoutout to Amy for kicking my butt out of bed and onto the trails.