How to run safely in the heat – top athletes share their advice

Many countries are currently experiencing record high temperatures, with a heat wave sweeping across Canada and the United States, and an extreme heat warning issued for the United Kingdom. This is bad news if you want to keep running, whether you’re training for an event or just to maintain your fitness.

To find out how you can stay safe and comfortable when running in hot weather, TechRadar spoke to two professional athletes who are used to staying active when temperatures rise.

Swiftwick athlete Amanda Foland is a Certified Personal Trainer from the American College of Sports Medicine and a Sports Nutrition Specialist with the International Sports Sciences Association.

“Training in the heat can be tough,” she says. “Often times, athletes go into their workouts with the intention of reaching a goal, but if they aren’t properly hydrated and fueled beforehand, those goals can be saturated with heat.

“As a trainer and athlete myself, I consciously take plenty of water throughout the day, a salt tablet before my workout and if more than 45 minutes another to make sure my body is absorbing sodium. to adhere to the sodium / potassium pump it is in our heart. “

Woman tying her running shoe next to a water bottle

Make sure you are hydrated and fueled enough for your run (Image credit: KieferPix / Shutterstock)

Foland explains that your choice of clothing is also important. “Other tips that I live by [are] wear lightweight, looser and more comfortable gear, take a bottle of water during workouts, and spray your head with water as needed to keep your body temperature cool. “

Earlier this year, Under Armor launched a new line of Iso-Chill sportswear made from flattened acrylic fibers with a titanium dioxide coating. Having tested several clothes ourselves we can say that it definitely makes a difference, but works best to cool you down after your run is over. The fabric is especially effective when saturated, whether with sweat or a little extra water from your bottle.

Foland also encourages its athletes to keep sweat diaries. “This involves weighting the before / after workouts to determine the amount of water needed in a workout based on the weight lost in that session,” she says.

Woman weighing herself on bathroom scale

Weighing yourself before and after a workout can help you see how much sweat you’ve lost (Image credit: Shutterstock)

“Being aware of the time spent in the heat is also important. Just like increasing mileage, increasing the duration of the heat takes time, slowly and steadily with attention at a lower intensity and being aware of signals your body is sending you. “

Stay cool on long runs

TechRadar also spoke with endurance runner and athlete Nathan Mike Wardian, winner of the US 50K Championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He also won the US 50 Mile Championship in 2011 and the US National Championship in 2011. 100 km in 2008. Here he shares his tips for staying safe and comfortable when the weather warms up …

Wear a hat
I find that even a visor can make a big difference in staying cool during the summer heat. Something to block out the sun really helps and allows you to hide in the shade, and just that little bit of shade can really help.

Wet your body
I like to put water from my Nathan hydration vest on my neck and the inside of my wrists and I feel like it can really cool you down and bring my heart rate down, for me until 10 beats.

Find the shadow
If you can look for every shadow or shadow you can find. Run near buildings, under trees, or even over passes to get away from the sun.

Choose the time of day to run
Unless you are training for a really hot run, you can time your runs in the cooler hours of the day or after a downpour or in the evening after sunset.

Ice in your vest / pack / bottles
Ice in summer is your best friend – use it. I used to put ice in my Nathan handhelds and grabbing an ice cold bottle really helps keep me cool.

Man running in the woods

Choosing a shaded route will help you stay cool – woods can be a good choice (Image credit: Anton Watman / Shutterstock)

Use your technology

You can also use your activity tracker or running watch to help you work out when the weather warms up. Running in hot weather increases the load on your cardiovascular system, making your heart and lungs work harder than usual, so it’s a good idea to keep up the pace. Keep an eye on your watch while you run; If your heart rate is noticeably higher than expected, try to slow down.

Some devices, including Garmin watches, allow you to set personalized alerts that notify you if your heart rate drops below or exceeds a certain rate. It can help you stay in a reasonable heart rate zone during training.

It’s also a good idea to use a chest strap heart rate monitor if you have one. It will respond to changes faster than a watch, and sweat provides conductivity between your skin and the sensors.

A smart scale can be a useful tool if you keep a sweat diary. Many, including the Withings Body Cardio and the Garmin Index S2, not only measure your weight, but use bioelectric impedance to estimate the volume of water in your body so that you can more accurately track how much water you are. have lost in the form of sweat.



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