Whether it is racing or training, one must be prepared of handling the heat. Running Safely in Warm and Humid Conditions.
Debatably, summer is the appropriate time of the year to run with a much better condition. However, summer can also be a tough condition to handle because of too much heat.
Debatably, summer is the appropriate time of the year to run with a much better condition. However, summer can also be a tough condition to handle because of too much heat. Whether it is racing or training, one must be prepared of handling the heat so that the performance is not hindered.
Sweating is the body’s way to cope with the heat which is why the more we run, the more sweat we produce. It is also the body’s adoptive process so the fitter you become, the better you can cope with the heat through sweating.
How to handle heat while running
The body only sweats when it needs to cool down or anytime you are in a warm place and it needs to cool down. If you’re new to running and not very fit, you don’t immediately sweat when not in a hot weather.
During extreme conditions, the body sweats a lot and uses up all the available fluids. If you don’t have enough fluid, you will not be able to sweat which means your body cannot control the heat. This can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
The very first sign of heat stroke is when someone stops sweating. If this happens, you need to get out the sun, cool the body down by taking a cold bath or drink fluids.
When a person suffers from heat stroke, they usually feel ill with no thirst. Because of this, the body begins to shut down and most commonly, the person faints. When this happens, immediate medical attention is a must so that the body’s core temperature is regained.
Stay hydrated when running
The key to keep the body hydrated is to drink fluids while running. Perspiration is needed so that the body regulates the temperature while exercising and also means you are losing fluids. This is also the reason why people don’t finish the training or get a poor race.
During the hot weather, the body produces more sweat and greater fluids are lost. The average person sweats around 500ml to 750ml of sweat per hour while running. In extreme conditions, the amount can even double. Sometimes it is not possible to put the lost fluid back into the body when running because it will stress the gut. So in the hot weathers, it is always expected that you lose fluids in net terms.
Sport scientists measure fluid loss through the runner’s lost weight when exercising. One liter of fluid lost through sweat is equivalent to one kilogram of weight. They claim that in every three percent loss in bodyweight due to sweat can result to a poor performance.
Example: A 4-hour marathoner loses 4.5L of fluids and only absorbs 2.5L when drinking.
The example above also applies to training but can be avoided when you make sure that the hydration levels are well topped between the runs. The best time to re-hydrate after running is 20 minutes after finishing the session. That is the time when the fluid and fuel is absorbed 30 percent more effectively.
Always eat and drink after running because the body effectively absorbs water when mixed with a little carbohydrates.
Running in humid, sunny conditions
Sweating is the body’s way of preventing buildup of heat when running in humid conditions so the more you sweat, the more you are in the risk of dehydration.
Even when the temperature is on moderate, high humidity can still be a problem because sweat rate is different when one moves above 20 degree Celsius. Runners that are in heavy humid conditions face as many problems in a 25 degree Celsius heat as well as in a 35 degree Celsius.
Apart from the concerns about heat and humidity, runners also need to be aware of the sun’s damaging impacts like eye damage, sunburn and skin cancer.
Summer running strategies
Summer months need to the ones a runner looks forward to the most. One needs to learn the basic precautions so as to enjoy the summer running safely. Tips:
Run in the morning
This will help you avoid that time of the day when the sun’s heat is at its worst.
Wear your sunglasses and cap
For your body, wear thin and light colored shirt especially if you have a fair skin.
Always wear sun blocks with high SPF rates
Waterproof ones are the best to use as you will sweat a lot.
Hot and humid conditions don’t mean we should stop our running activity. We can train the body to cope with extreme conditions by knowing a few simple precautions.
«The runner’s mind says ‘I can’t take it anymore’, his body says ‘two more».