How to Make the Most of Running in Hot Weather

There are many adjustments that you will want to make when you are running in hot weather. One of the most important aspects of hot weather running is to keep your body as cool as possible. You will have to think well ahead of time what your running goals will be in hot weather running. Where are you going to run? How far are you going to run? You will also have to learn to listen to your body.

Sweating after run in heat

When running in hot weather, avoid running during midday. The first thing you should do is start running in the early morning, usually just around day break. This time of the day is cool and it will help you keep cool. Cannot run in the morning? Well, try running at dusk, while not as cool as the early morning, it is better than running in the heat of the day, which you should avoid at the best of times.

Your hot weather running goals will have to change as well. Lower them. There is no way that you will be running in hot weather as fast as in the cool weather. Do not run as fast as in the cooler weather. Maybe you could break up your hot weather running with a little walking. Try walking a lap or two (I usually ran around a sports track) and then run 6 or 7 laps and walk a lap or two. This is especially effective if you have to run in the middle of the day.

In hot weather running wear light clothing, and avoid wearing cotton. Cotton will absorb the sweat, and it could cause chafing of the skin, or worse yet, bleeding of the nipples in men. You should also wear light colored clothing, this helps to reflect the sun, rather than absorbing the sun. There are many good runner’s clothing out there, especially for running in hot weather, check them out!

Remember when running in hot weather to start your run with the wind to your back. When your start running back you will be running into a head wind, which will help you cool off, yes use every little advantage when running in hot weather.

Take a drink before you start out. This will help your body to cool down, before you even start. Make sure you drink lots of water. Drink at least a cup every 10 to 15 minutes. Pour some over your head to keep cool. When running in hot weather, the runner’s body is pumping blood to the skin to keep the runner cool, if you can help your body keep cool, the less your body has to work.

I would often put a wet towel over my head your liquids are exiting your body through your sweat and a wet towel was like putting on a cold wet hat. This helps slow down the body’s heating process, and gives you a few minutes when running in the hot weather, before the sweating process starts up.

When running in the heat make sure you wear some sun block if you are going to be running longer than 15 minutes.

If you can find a place to run in the shade, like the woods, go for it. When you run in the open, you are getting heat from above and if you run on asphalt, you will also be getting heat from the asphalt as well.

If you are running around a park in the heat, learn where the fountains are, these can be a life saver. Drink no less than a cup at a time, and pour as much over your head as possible.

Running is very much a solitary endeavor, but you should find a running buddy. To many runners, to quit because of hot weather running, is a sign of weakness, and many athletes will not succumb until the body has completely shuts down. This is when need some one to tell you to slow down, walk or even to quit running in hot weather. There is nothing worse than going through the phases of heat exhaustion by yourself. You could be so delirious, that you will not recognize the start of a heat stroke. Make sure you take a cell phone, when running in hot weather, in case you need to call for medical help. Do not be stubborn. If your body wants you to slow down, slow down. I know how hard it is walk rather than run, but your body can easily cramp up, and then you will be lucky if you can walk. Once the cramping starts up, you actually might have entered into the first stage of heat stroke, which can result in death. So, if your body tells you it has had enough hot weather running, quit running!

Running Injuries: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options

Running injuries

Many people around the world love to jog or run, may it be as a recreational runner or a professional runner, but nearly 70% of them will at some time sustain a running-related injury.

Even though most sustained injuries are minor, some are quite serious that requires surgical repair of the injured part. Moreover, these minor running injuries may become chronic if left untreated or inappropriately treated. The common sites of running injuries include the knee, Achilles (calcaneal) tendon, hip and groin, foot and ankle and back. Among these, the knee is the most commonly affected area.

Some of the running related injuries include Shin splint Syndrome, sprain (on the knee or the ankle joints), plantar fasciitis (the most common cause of heel pain in runners), Achilles tendonitis, synovitis, and muscle soreness.

Joggers or runners may also experience hyperthermia (increased body temperature) due to prolonged sweating and inadequate replacement of water and electrolytes in hot weather.

Injury Causes

Most running injuries are attributed to improper or faulty training techniques. This may involve inadequate or lack of warm-up routines. Beginning runners, sometimes too enthusiastic and out of shape, are often hurt when they initially run too much or run too soon.

Heavy and prolonged sweating especially with inadequate replacement of fluids and electrolytes may cause hyperthermia (increased body temperature). Running on hard or uneven surfaces for extended periods and wearing poorly constructed or worn out running shoes are some factors that contribute to running injuries. Other factors also inlcude improper running posture and structural abnormalities such as flat footedness, unequal leg length and muscle imbalance.

Signs and Symptoms of Injury

The most common sign of running related injuries is pain. Other signs and symptoms include swelling, bruising, inability to move or use the joint, and sometimes a feeling of popping or tearing when the injury happens.

Temperature Related Conditions

For heat cramps, symptom includes muscle cramping in the legs or back; in heat exhaustion, signs and symptoms may include headache, confusion, muscle cramps and pulse is weak and rapid; Heat Stroke, which is a medical emergency, include the skin becomes hot and dry, absent sweating, involuntary movements, seizures and may lead to death if left untreated.

Conservative Treatment Measures

Most minor injuries may be treated initially by PRICEMS Therapy, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice application, Compression, Elevation, Medications, and Support. Immediately apply ice pack for about 15 – 20 minutes, rest and elevate the injured part. You may also apply an elastic bandage, if possible, to compress the injured tissue. Avoid applying heat during the acute stage of injury as this will worsen the swelling. It is also helpful to take aspirin and related nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, to minimize the pain. Continue using PRICEMS Therapy for 2 – 3 days until swelling subsides. Follow-up treatment may include alternating moist heat and ice massage. (If there is still swelling, don’t apply heat.)

For severe cases (a complete tear to the ligament or tendon), consult your doctor for proper treatment as torn ligaments and tendons take longer time to heal due to poor blood supply to these types of tissues.

It is important, during the recovery period, that the patient be active using an alternative fitness program that does not worsen the original injury. Ask your healthcare provider about these alternative fitness program.

Temperature Related Injuries

For heat cramps, rest and replacement of water and electrolytes; management of heat exhaustion include the treatment for heat cramps as well as elevating the feet and cooling the body with ice and cold towels; management for heat stroke includes the ones previously stated, plus immediate transfer to the hospital for prompt treatment.

Training for the Injured Runner

When symptoms are no longer felt (asymptomatic), graduated training program can be performed. For the first 2 weeks, the patient should do alternate walking and running every other day and on alternate days, other types of exercises can be substituted. Prior to walking or running, patient should do warm-up with calisthenics for low back and limbs and stretching exercises. Your healthcare provider (Physician or Physical Therapist) can provide you with a proper graduated training program.

Note: This information is not provided as basis for diagnosis for any particular condition but as a general guide to running injuries. Always consult your healthcare provider for any questions regarding your health.