How to Keep Cool When Running in the Heat and Humidity
Summers in New Jersey are hot and humid, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside on the treadmill. You just need to be smart about when and where you run. With a little preparation, conditioning and creativity, you can train safely outdoors all summer long.
Here are some important tips that will help you train safely during the dog days of summer.
Time your run wisely – Beat the heat with a run that finishes before 10am or starts after 7pm, when the sun isn’t at its peak. If you’re looking for company, join us every Wednesday at 7pm for group runs around Hoboken.
Beware of the humidity – Humidity doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate from your skin, eliminating one of the best ways your body cools itself down. Pay attention to the humidity levels, which are often higher in the mornings, and plan your run accordingly.
Hydrate – Drink two cups of water two hours before going outside to run. Additionally, sip about three ounces of water every 15 – 20 minutes while outdoors to prevent muscle fatigue and heat exhaustion. Water fountains can be unreliable, so we recommend bringing your water with you. We also have hydration solutions available here at Fleet Feet!
Protect your skin – Use a sweat resistant sunscreen designed for outdoor sports. Make sure to reapply accordingly.
Wear appropriate clothing – Choose light colored, light weight fabrics that wick sweat away from the body. We have a variety of tanks, sports bras and shorts in stock!
Find shade – Go for a trail run in the shady woods or along a breezy beach where the temperature is often 10 degrees cooler.
Cover your head - Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and the sweat out of your eyes. Keep your head cool with a lightweight cap or one made from mesh. We can help you with that!
Avoid the street - Asphalt and concrete absorb heat and radiate it back onto you. Choose to run on grass, sand or trails for some relief.
Pay attention to your body – Slow down on days of extreme heat or humidity and stop running if you feel dizzy, have chills, are nauseous or lightheaded. These are possible signs of heat exhaustion.
Monitor dehydration – For long runs, it’s important to monitor dehydration. By stepping on a scale before and after your long run or speed session, you can see if you have lost water weight.
Let your body acclimate – It can take 10 to 14 days for your body to get used to exercising in the heat. Start slowly and gradually increase your time and/or effort while working out outdoors.
Watch the weather forecast – Keep your workout inside or try pool running on days when a heat advisory is in effect. Working out in a light rain can be refreshing, but don’t head out during a thunderstorm.
Stay cool – Fill your water bottle halfway and freeze overnight. Top it off with cold water in the morning, so you’ll have cold liquid throughout your run.
Replenish electrolytes – Do you run longer than 60 minutes or sweat profusely? Replace electrolytes with a sports drink such as Nuun.
Beat the heat – Squeeze a little cold water over your head, on the back of your neck or wrists to cool off quickly. Running through a sprinkler is a fun way to cool down.
Cool down – Don’t shock your body by going from extreme heat into frigid air-conditioning. Be sure to do a cool down before you head inside. A dip in the pool or ocean can feel amazing after a hot run.
With some planning, you can minimize the downside of summer training. The biggest benefit of training throughout the summer is your fall event will feel so much easier without the heat and humidity!