Running in Warmer weather
It's heating up! Are you slowing down?
Though right now the weather may feel perfect, summer is right around the corner. For our summer racers this can mean a higher risk of dehydration, heat stroke, and the dreaded DNF.
The key to summer racing is acclimation. If all of your summer training runs are done at 6am to avoid the sun, or on a treadmill, you will surely struggle in a race that starts later in the morning. There is value in doing some of your training in a hotter part of the day, even if you have to run slower and stop more often for hydration. This can help you to acclimate to the heat and better serve you when racing in similar conditions.
When it's hot, start out slow. When you aren't acclimated to the heat, it can be very dangerous. Your heart rate will increase and you will be losing more water than you are used to through sweat. Hydration is a serious factor in keeping you safe during summer workouts. Not only should you always be carrying water, but if you are out there for a longer run, you should be supplementing the appropriate amount of electrolytes as well. Save your hard workouts for early mornings, or cooler days.
The reality is, when it gets hotter you are going to slow down, but so is everyone else! Even the elite runners will gain minutes in hotter, humid conditions. Your body is less efficient as it heats up. Running conservatively can yield a greater performance and keep you safe. Don't be ashamed of slowing down when the weather calls for it.
If you find yourself out in the hot sun, don't forget your sunscreen, and wear light moisture wicking clothes. Bring along a hat and sunglasses as well. If you can, run on a trail, the trees will block the sun and cool you down. Last but not least, if it's too dangerous, or you feel yourself getting over heated, just don't run!
Be safe out there,
See you on the road.