By Amber Goguen, health-conscious writer and published poet.
During this bright summer season, our minds drift onto glorious thoughts of beach time, ocean waves and BBQs. The appeal of hitting the trail for a run is paired with the displeasing thoughts of smouldering heat and excessive sweat. Don’t let the sunshine be an excuse to hang up your runners and opt for indoor activities; beat the heat with these pro tips to keep your outdoor running on track.
1. Be smart and flexible with timing.
Great things come from small beginnings; your body may need some time to adjust to the change in temperature. Ease yourself into the heat by starting with a light jog or speed walk before taking off full-force. Adjusting your running schedule to favour the milder times of day (like early mornings or late evenings) would be a wise move if you are new to running during the summer. It is incredibly important to listen to what your body is telling you: take beaks more often than usual and seek shade when possible.
2. Prepare for tomorrow by hydrating today.
Captain obvious here – hydration is extremely important when it comes to any form of physical activity. During heat waves, our bodies perspire quicker than usual and need to be replenished often. Don’t wait until you are out the door to have your first water bottle of the day; a regularly hydrated body will perform better. Hydration is key in avoiding dizzy spells and heat stroke during a longer run. Make sure to take small sips of water during breaks instead of gulping down an entire bottle, as the rush of liquid mixed with the heat could cause an upset stomach.
3. Get by with a little help from your friends.
As with almost any challenge, surrounding yourself with a supportive team can be the deciding factor between lacing up your shoes or watching re-runs of Vampire Diaries. Summer is a great time to join a local running team, and many athletic stores will carry information on sporting groups in your area. Joining a team that fits your schedule could add life to an otherwise lonesome – and sweaty – run. If a team environment is not your thing, pack some food and collect your family/flatmate for a casual run and outdoor brunch. Regardless of which method you choose, ensuring that you have someone keeping you accountable during the sweet summer days will benefit you for the long run (no pun intended).
Whether you are a beginner or a multi-marathon professional, consistency during training is the most important and incredibly challenging part of running. Pushing through your training during the sticky, sweaty days of summer will make the rest of the year look like child’s play. Don’t let the sun be your excuse: Lace up your trainers and hit the pavement!
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