Running is a great way to stay in shape and get in your recommended cardio for the week. Many people choose to run inside; however, there are just as many people who prefer to run in the great outdoors. Of course, running outside presents different challenges than running inside a gym. Especially in Texas, where temperatures can quickly jump up to over 100 degrees in summer, runners face unique challenges when keeping their routine.
Here are three tips to make your summer runs safe and healthy:
1) Get Used to The Heat
One of the best ways to get used to running in the summer is to go out and get a feel for the heat. Summer runs are dangerous especially to runners who don’t have a regular schedule and are just getting started. The human body is capable of surviving in a variety of different conditions, but it needs time to get used to it.
2) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking water is important for runners in general, but in the summertime, it’s even more important when running in high temperatures. Give yourself plenty of time to drink while running and don’t push yourself too hard. Running in the heat can actually slow down your times, so if you track your distance running, chances are you’re posting slower times but that doesn’t mean you should run harder to compensate. It’s better to take breaks and go slower than it is to suffer from heat exhaustion!
3) Avoid Extreme Temperatures
There are days in Texas where it’s just not smart to go out for a run. Oftentimes, weather reports will even indicate which days are unsafe by naming them heat advisory days. You can use your best judgment if it’s too hot for you to go out running, but remember: even if you step outside and you’re not sweating doesn’t mean the heat isn’t affecting you. Heat actually reduces the amount of oxygen your muscles get, which means you’re working harder to achieve less.
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up running, but it does mean you need to be more careful! Keep an eye on the thermometer and don’t suffer from heat-related illnesses or conditions. When at all possible, avoid the hottest days and run indoors. While it might not be as scenic, it might just save your life!