Summer has officially arrived and I kicked it off with a 5 mile run this morning. Had to walk a couple of times, hamstrings started bothering me a little. Not sure if it was the hilly neighborhood I ran through or the 6 days of running in a row. At least tomorrow is going to be a rest day for me, need to recover and get ready to start training for a marathon. I managed to put in just under 20 miles this week, the biggest week I have had in a while. Feels great to get the mileage back up and hopefully I can get to the 40 mile weeks here soon. Overall the week has been pretty good with the mileage and joining a couple of good groups, as mentioned in the previous post, to help me stay motivated and on track with the running. My goal is to prevent injuries, which right now means taking my runs nice and slow. For now I am focusing on distance, I think speed will come as I keep running.
Now that summer is here there are a few things that you should keep in mind when running in the heat.
Now, I am no expert or doctor but these are some of the things I keep in mind while I am out in the heat. If you need to, check with you doctor before running in the if you are not used to it.
1. Stay hydrated, but don't over do it. You still have to keep the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your system to keep from having any major problems while out in the heat. Personally, I stay away from sports drinks, too much sugar for me. I like to use products like Nuun to help keep electrolytes in check. Remember to carry water or have someone setup impromptu water stations, especially on the long runs.
2. Run either early morning or later in the evening. Early morning is the cooler part of the day but if you can't do the runs early wait till at least the sun goes down in the evening. It will still be warm but you won't have the sun beating down on you while you run.
3. Shade is your friend. If possible, find a route that has lots of shade if you do end up running while the sun is out. This will help keep things a little bit cooler while keeping the sun off you.
4. Keep it light. Wear light colored clothing as well as light materials. This will help keep you cool and for the sweat to evaporate a little better, you body's way of cooling. If you don't have anything light, this is a good excuse to hit the running store.
5. Protect the skin. The sun is both an enemy and a friend for runners. I helps in the production of Vitamin D, but can also cause skin cancer. Wear sunscreen while running to help protect you skin and plus you can smell good while running.
6. Where did you go? Make sure someone knows the route you plan on taking and roughly how long before you come back. That way if the time has passed they know where to start looking for you if needed.
7. Most of all listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, nausea or just not feeling right, stop running immediately and walk back. If unable to walk back, hopefully you have your phone and can call someone to get you. If these symptoms get worse or you start having chills and stop sweating you need to see the doctor right away.
Be safe out there this summer and keep these things in mind.