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2 minutes read

Running in the Heat

Published by Dr. Alden Clendenin

Whether you are running a 5K or a full marathon, running in the summer means that you need to be aware of the heat and how to stay safe. Race days aren’t going to be postponed because it is hot out; this means you need to know the best tips to stay healthy during your race. Additionally, factors such as temperature, humidity, how acclimated you are, and more will affect how you do on race day.


Though this tip is rather obvious, staying hydrated is the best way you can stay safe on race day. In the days before the race, drink plenty of water, and on the day of the race, drink several ounces of water the morning of. Sports drinks can also help, as they have electrolytes in them. Re-hydrate at stations throughout the race, even if you don’t think you need it. Avoid alcohol, soda, and coffee, as they have a dehydrating effect; if you do need a morning wake-up, drink half as much coffee as you usually do.

Sun Protection

Even in the shade, your skin can absorb sunlight, meaning that you need protection during the race no matter the sun conditions. Utilize lots of sweat-proof sunscreen, a visor, sunglasses, and wicking fabrics. Covering your skin up, especially with light-colored fabrics, will reduce heat build-up, reducing your chance at heat stroke or fainting.

Lower Your Expectations

Even with the most intense training, high heat will increase your race time. Every five degree increase in temperatures above 60 degrees can slow your pace up to thirty seconds per mile. Begin the race at a slower pace than you had initially planned, especially if running a longer race. When running based on your effort versus time, you won’t have as much pressure to run faster than you should with the heat.

Runners experience all sorts of climates and conditions. However, no one is immune to heat, especially if it is humid and sunny out. Follow these tips to ensure your race day is great!

Courtesy of: Runner’s World

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