When temperatures are scorching, you’ll need to take some extra precautions before lacing up.
While running in the summer is great in some ways—you don’t have to worry about sliding on ice or snow, and the longer days make it easy to sneak in miles before or after work—it has its downsides, particularly the sauna-like heat and humidity. Thankfully, our bodies have adapted over centuries to survive in brutally hot temperatures (think: the plains of the Sahara Desert), with the help of a the state-the-art-cooling system called sweating.
But in the middle of summer—especially during a heat wave, like the one most of the country is expecting this weekend, which may see temps hovering in the 100s and higher—the heat and humidity level can clock in so high that no matter how much we sweat, we just can’t cool down.
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When this happens, it’s critical for runners to protect themselves from overheating while exercising outdoors, which can cause serious heat-related illnesses. To avoid these potential risks, make sure to listen to your body, be willing adjust your pace and distance as needed, and stay fueled and hydrated.
Here, we asked our followers on Instagram for a few of their own hot-weather running tips for keeping cool when the temps are blistering.
Important note: If you have extremely hot and dry skin (with no sweating), a rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, and/or nausea, you might be experiencing a heat stroke. The most common victims of heat stroke include young children and elderly people over age 65, but anyone can be susceptible. Learn the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them here.