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Best three tips for running in hot weather: Strategies to Beat the Heat.

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

As the summer temperatures soar and the sun shines brightly, running enthusiasts in Lithuania face the challenge of exercising in hot weather conditions. To ensure the safety and well-being of runners, it is essential to adopt appropriate strategies and precautions.

Timing and Hydration

Summer running in levande field
Summer running

To minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses, it is advisable to schedule your runs during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening (Smith et al., 2020). These periods offer lower temperatures and reduced sun exposure. This reduces the potential for heat stress. Prior to your run, ensure adequate hydration by drinking water or electrolyte-rich beverages, such as sports drinks (Maughan et al., 2018). Aim to consume fluids before, during, and after your run to maintain proper hydration levels. As an example, I check the weather forecasts the day before a training session and plan my running session during the coldest part of the day. I also drink more water the day before training and make sure I take a bottle of water with me to sip on while running to avoid excessive fluid loss through sweating and the possible unpleasant consequences for my well-being and health.

Appropriate clothing and headwear Choosing the right clothing and headgear can significantly impact your comfort and safety during hot weather runs. Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that allow for proper ventilation and sweat evaporation (Périard et al., 2017). Additionally, consider wearing a hat or visor to protect your face and head from direct sunlight, while also providing shade and reducing the risk of overheating (Armstrong et al., 2018). Personally, from my own experience, I would also recommend using a sunscreen with UV filters to protect your skin from sunburn. Also, choose clothing that is not only light, but loose and not too tight to avoid overheating and uncomfortable chafing when you sweat. Nutrition and Refreshing Recipes Maintaining proper nutrition is crucial for sustaining energy levels and enhancing performance when running in hot weather. Consume a balanced pre-run meal consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body (Burke et al., 2018). For post-run recovery and hydration, consider refreshing options such as a homemade watermelon and cucumber smoothie. Simply blend together fresh watermelon chunks, cucumber slices, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a handful of ice for a hydrating and revitalizing treat. A personal tip: don't overeat before your planned run. If you plan to run for a long time (more than an hour) or a long distance (more than ~10km), eat at least two hours before your planned run. A bowl of porridge with fresh fruit and plain yoghurt is a good option. If you plan to run for less than an hour, a light snack such as a banana or a small bowl of plain yoghurt with blueberries will do. Innovative Solutions to Beat the Heat Embracing innovative technologies can provide additional support and comfort during hot weather runs. Consider utilizing cooling towels or neck wraps that can be soaked in cold water and draped around your neck or wrists to lower body temperature (Lopez et al., 2016). Furthermore, wearable devices such as sweat rate monitors can help track your hydration needs, allowing you to adjust your fluid intake accordingly. Conclusion Running in hot weather requires careful planning and adherence to safety measures. By following the evidence-based strategies outlined in this article, such as timing your runs, wearing appropriate attire, staying hydrated, and embracing innovative technologies, you can run safely and enjoyably during the summer months. Remember to prioritize your well-being, listen to your body, and adapt your training as necessary to ensure a positive and rewarding running experience. And do not forget to smile! Smiling while running gives positive feelings to yourself and others, and in this way we create a more positive and beautiful world and use my best three tips for running in hot weather: Strategies to Beat the Heat 🙂🙃.

References: Armstrong, L. E., Johnson, E. C., & Casa, D. J. (2018). The role of thermal stress and fluid balance in exercise-induced muscle cramps. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 46(3), 166-172. Burke, L. M., Ross, M. L., Garvican-Lewis, L. A., Welvaert, M., Heikura, I. A., Forbes, S. G., ... & Hawley, J. A. (2018). Low carbohydrate, high fat diet impairs exercise economy and negates the performance benefit from intensified training in elite race walkers. The Journal of Physiology, 596(4), 930-941. Lopez, R. M., Casa, D. J., McDermott, B. P., Ganio, M. S., Armstrong, L. E., & Maresh, C. M. (2016). Does creatine supplementation hinder exercise heat tolerance or hydration status? A systematic review with meta-analyses. Journal of Athletic Training, 51(10), 1033-1041. Maughan, R. J., Watson, P., Cordery, P. A., Walsh, N. P., Oliver, S. J., Dolci, A., & Rodriguez-Sanchez, N. (2018). A randomized trial to assess the potential of different beverages to affect hydration status: development of a beverage hydration index. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 107(5), 794-802. Périard, J. D., Racinais, S., & Sawka, M. N. (2017). Adaptations and mechanisms of human heat acclimation: applications for competitive athletes and sports. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 27(11), 1350-1364.


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