Beat the Heat


The temperatures have climbed sky high and we are getting a real blast of summer heat – and a quick lesson in acclimating!   Some people thrive in the heat (me) and others wilt.  There are many factors that determine our ability to tolerate heat and cold including the temperature that we grew up in, how much time we spend in the heat/cold on a daily basis, body composition, stress, health conditions, genetics and more.   The great news is, our bodies do adapt through exposure and there are also many ways to prevent overheating.  Here are some tips to help you beat the heat!

Hot Weather Training Tips

1.  Prevention-set your alarm earlier and beat the heat by getting those quality workouts in before the temperatures rise.  If you don’t need ‘heat specific’ training, then avoid the hotter parts of the day for any quality workouts (hills/speed/endurance) that you want to save your energy for.

2.  Use it as training- if you do need ‘heat specific’ training, gradually increase your exposure in time and degrees to allow your body to adapt.  Over time you will feel more comfortable in hotter temperatures as your body learns to cool itself more efficiently. 

3.  Manage the heat- on hot training runs and races, control the effects of heat on your body and performance by taking steps to keep your temperature down.

  • Increase your fluid and electrolyte intake on hot and/or humid days.  The more you sweat, the greater your risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance on runs lasting over 90 minutes- drink early and often and not just water on your long runs- make sure you are replacing your lost electrolytes as well.

  • Decrease your pace.  Running in hot or humid climates is more difficult and places greater stress on the body.  Slow down and modify your pace based on intensity, rather than speed.  Be smart and stay safe.

  • Wear a hat/shade your head and face.  Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen too.

  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing.  Try wearing a white cotton shirt- yup.  They don’t wick, and instead stay wet against your skin, assisting with the cooling of your body. 

  • Dunk in any fresh water that you come across- take the time to dunk your hat, buff or even your shirt and soak your head.  This will refresh you instantly and can help cool your temperature between water sources. 

  • Ice- freeze your water bottles over night or add ice to them for your runs.  Use ice under your hat or buff around your neck if you have access to it.  During long runs and races, you can plan to have some ice in your drop bags by packing it in a cooler/bag if possible.

  • Cool arm sleeves- white ones can be quite effective if they are kept wet or packed with ice now and then.  But they will be very hot if you let them dry out.

  • Neck coolers- these little bandanas are filled with beads and you can freeze them overnight, then wear them around the back of your neck.

What tricks do you use to beat the heat?  Send them my way!