How to Trot: How to Run Safely When the Temps are Soaring

Canceling the gym member ship you never use? Running is all the rage, and even as the summer heat swelters, you can bet that runners will still be pounding the pavement and competing in 5Ks, marathons and other racing events. It’d be nice if there really was a chill pill.

Until one comes along, here’s how to stay cool if you’re a runner trying to acclimate to soaring temps and dangerous heat indexes.

Run early in the morning. If you must run outside, early morning is the safest time of the day.

Drink lots of water. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least 8 oz. of fluid each hour. You’ll feel better, plus you’ll improve your body’s cooling mechanisms.

Go light and loose. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. The former will reflect the sun’s rays better, and the latter will enable you to take advantage of any breeze.

Use sunscreen. Not only will it protect you from skin damage, but it can decrease your skin and body temperatures as well.

Start your run slowly. The slower you start, the longer you’ll keep your body heat from reaching the misery threshold. If you normally run at an 8-minute mile pace, for example, do your first mile at a 10-minute pace.

Run near water. If you can close to a river, lake or ocean, you’ll find that it’s typically cooler and breezier.

Heed your body’s warning signals. In hot weather, you need to be very sensitive to the warning signs of heat stroke, which can be fatal. Stop running immediately if you feel a headache or intense heat buildup in your head; confusion or lack of concentration; loss of muscular control; hot and cold flashes; or upset stomach, muscle cramps, vomiting or dizziness.

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