Anyone who runs knows that there’s a little more that goes into it than picking one foot up and putting it in front of the other.
There’s a lot to consider: how far to go, at what speed, whether or not to run with a partner and which playlist you want to listen to.
But one of the biggest things to consider is the weather.
With more sticky humid days of August ahead, Kevin Gard, clinical professor and vice chair and director of the professional doctor of physical therapy program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, put together a collection of tips for runners to get through the remaining hot and muggy days of the year.
- Wear the Right Clothes
In general, less is better. Wear light-colored garments made of breathable material.
A hat and sunglasses are a good idea, too. And while you’re at it, throw on some sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to add to your protection from the sun.
- Pick a Good Time to Run
Run when it’s cooler. Early in the morning or in the early evening are better times than the middle of the day when it’s hottest.
And if you run in the evening, make sure you wear reflective clothing to stay visible when it gets dark.
Before, during and after your run, you need to hydrate.
Make sure you’re well-hydrated before your run and drink 5-8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes during your run and replenish lost fluid afterward.
Running when dehydrated will make your run more difficult — at best — and could be dangerous — at worst.
- Select Your Course Carefully
Areas with more grass and shade will be cooler than areas with concrete and buildings.
You may want to select areas where you have access to water, as well, unless you plan to carry some with you.
- Don’t Rule Out the Indoors
During times of extreme heat, run inside on a treadmill or in a pool.
Try speed intervals to break up the monotony on a treadmill. And in a pool, use the resistance to strengthen your core.
- Heed Warning Signs
Know the warning signs of too much heat exposure, such as feeling lightheaded or faint, not sweating, cramping and a persistent headache.
If you experience these symptoms, get to a cool place where you can rest and hydrate or get medical help, if needed.
- Stick It Out
The work you do now will pay off during the cooler fall. As you acclimate to the heat, your body becomes more efficient at dissipating it, which will make you a better runner.
So hang tough now and reap the rewards later.
Media interested in speaking to Gard can contact Frank Otto at 215.571.4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.