Running in the heat, revisited

After spouting my opinions on acclimating to the heat, I decided to go searching and see what some of the experts say about running on hot days. I found many articles with good tips and some food for thought. Here are just a few:

  •  This article from Runner’s World has three suggestions for dealing with the heat (four, if you count “go lie in a hammock”): acclimatization, proper hydration, and pre-cooling, or deliberately lowering your core body temperature about 30-60 minutes before the start of the race. Has anyone tried pre-cooling? I know a number of runners who are fans of an ice-bath after running; I don’t know anyone who has tried to drop their body temperature before a run. (In the article, the runner drank a large Slurpee before the race. Sure, it might drop your temperature, but I don’t think I’d want all that sugary syrup sloshing around in my guts during a race!)
  • On Marathonguide.com, Coach Mindy suggests weighing yourself before and after a run on a hot day, then drinking 16 ounces of water for each pound lost. I might try this just because I’ve never checked to see if I lose any particular amount of weight during a run. I wonder if the rate at which I hydrate during runs offsets the weight I lose from sweating out? This article also gives you a list of the symptoms of heat-related illness, which I suggest reading– the most important thing is to listen to your own body!
  • Active.com has an entire collection of heat-related articles and tips, some of which are a little repetitive, but there’s good information there, too, such as: running at a slower pace; using shorter “work” intervals; and covering up when running in hot, direct sun.

What are your favorite aids or tricks for adapting to and running in the heat?

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3 thoughts on “Running in the heat, revisited

  1. I fill my water bottles part way the night before and put them in the freezer then fill the iced up bottles the rest of the way before heading out. Keeps the water cold longer. Also. wear a hat. It’s amazing how much difference it can make sheilding your face from the sun.

    • I haven’t tried freezing my bottles yet. Could help keep me cool in two ways — cold water to drink, and two little cold spots on my back where the bottles rest!
      And I agree with you 100% on the hat. In addition to always having my running cap, I won’t hike without a hat, either! The wider the brim, the better.

  2. I have been freezing one bottle entirely and using it to cool me down after each loop I do, by pressing it against my wrists or carotids. I also keep my fluids in a cooler. A lot of ultra runners put ice in their hat or tie an ice-cooled bandana or towel around their necks.

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