It’s so extra hard to run with any extra “heat”. I say it that way because you can have different types of “heat”. There’s high temperature heat or intense sun (afternoon) heat or high humidity heat. All of these types can make your run tougher than normal.
Today we had high temperature and high humidity at 7:00am 🥵 Thankfully is was cloudy because we had some storms pass over night.
I wanted to get a long run in so I had to prepare for the heat. There are several things to consider when preparing for a long hot run.
1) Clothes: you want to avoid cotton at all costs! A cotton tee shirt will be drenched and heavy in no time. Cotton shorts can become uncomfortable as they get wet from your sweat. I once had my cotton shorts sagging badly because they were so soaked from my sweat. Even cotton socks will make your feet feel like they’re sloshing in a puddle in your shoe! The best material to run in on a hot days is anything breathable. Running clothes can be expensive but they’re expensive for a reason! Most performance wear is made to wick away sweat from your body. This is a must have on a hot (especially humid) day. You will still feel gross, but it’s a lot better than what you’d feel if you were wearing cotton.
2) Hydration: I can’t stress enough that hydration the day before is just as important as the hydration the day of your run. Really, the best case is to boost your hydration for the entire week leading up to your long run. This means staying away from alcohol and drinking at least a gallon of water every day. I like to add in coconut water too for an extra boost. For hydration the day of, I’m a little extra :). This morning I brought a Gatorade to keep in my car for after, water for during and after and a pre workout to build up some energy before. So far so good but the tell tale sign is a headache later in the day. I’m usually pretty good but I didn’t hydrate yesterday as good as I should have. Here’s a picture of my hydration supplies:
3) Shade: wear a hat. Just do it. It can be uncomfortable but it protects your head and face from the sun. And it stops the sweat from dripping in your eyes.
4) Protection: sunscreen and bug spray are necessities. I keep them in my car now to be sure I never forget them. Your skin will thank you!
As you run in the heat, you may think you will die. You will feel disgusting and will be shiny with a thin layer of sweat and salt all over your body. You will stink and you will gladly blast the air conditioning in your face and armpits on the way home. But after you’re home and showered and fed, you will be a lot happier and a little stronger (and maybe a little tired). You can do it.