It's all well and good to get into running, again in the springtime when the weather starts getting nice, but once the summer hits, the rules start to change. Guys tend to want to try to push their way through anything, including summer running. When we decide we're going to go for a run and stay fit, it doesn't matter that it's 104 degrees outside and we haven't had a glass of water in three hours.
Unfortunately, that attitude is one of the fastest ways to end up getting sick or injured during your summer running routine. It doesn't mean that you need to stop running when the weather heats up, but it does mean that there are a few precautions that you need to take to make sure that you don't end up setting yourself back instead of moving yourself forward.
Use the following great tips to help to keep you running all summer long with your best performance and safety:
• Don't run at the hottest times of the day – try heading out in the early morning or late evening for your summer running. Consider mid-day to be out of the question because it will mean the hottest temperatures and the least amount of shade. Speaking of shade, try to stick to the shadiest sides of the street instead of trudging along in direct sunlight. It makes a difference.
• Be reasonable about your pace – you may feel the most energized at the beginning of your run, but starting off with a sprint will only jack up your body temperature before you even get going. Try to reduce your speed a little bit when compared to the way that you would run under cooler conditions. Pay attention on maintaining a steady effort and keeping up your energy instead of trying to beat your records. If you haven't been running long, you might want to drop back to power walking every 4 to 8 minutes, or so, to help to keep your temperature down.
• Build up your tolerance – when the weather first gets hot, treat yourself like a brand new runner, regardless of whether you've been doing it for a week or you've been running for years. Alternate between running and walking, even if you feel like you could keep going, and focus heavily on hydration. It takes the body about two weeks to adapt to new weather conditions, so take it easy during that span of time so that you'll be ready to run at your normal pace in the minimum amount of time.