Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Getting Hot in Here: Drink up!

Whew! It sure is getting hot out there! With 12 weeks to go until the Chicago marathon, runs are getting longer just as the weather gets warmer! I usually have to wake up at (ungodly) hours of the morning to get my runs in while its still cool before work. Since i prescribe to the Sweat Once a Day mantra, I also pay close attention to my hydration status and make the best out of the sunny days. Below is a collection of my favorite Hot-Weather Running Tips

  • Dress the Part: Wear light-colored, micro-fiber clothing (i.e. “technical” running clothing).
  • Change your Schedule: Run early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are lowest.
  • Listen to your body. If at any time your body gives you signals to slow down or to stop, abide by them.
  • Be aware of your heart rate, body temperature and hydration levels. If you experience lightheadedness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, weakness and/or headache, stop running immediately.
  • Sweat Everyday, but don't get Dehydrated!
Participating in endurance events in hot and humid conditions can also exacerbate dehydration. Dehydration is the process of losing fluids from the body; in this case, through sweat. As you sweat, you lose water and salt. Each runner sweats and loses salt at a different rate; thus, it is vital to replace fluids and monitor sodium intake in order to avoid any issues. -Dr. George Chiampas, Chicago Marathon Medical Director
Did you know that on hot days, athletes can lose about five liters or 20 cups of water through sweat during prolonged exercise??


  • Before: On extra warm days, drink at least 16 ounces of water about 2 hours before exercise and about 8 ounces of a sports drink (like Gatorade) about 30 to 60 minutes before a long run.
    • I
      n a study in the April 2010 Journal of Athletic Training, runners who started a 12-K race dehydrated on an 80?F day finished about two and a half minutes slower compared to when they ran it hydrated. Dehydration causes your blood volume to drop, which lowers your body's ability to transfer heat and forces your heart to beat faster, making it difficult for your body to meet aerobic demands.
  • During: Repletion of fluids, electrolytes, and glucose is important during prolonged exercise (anything greater than 1 hour). Drinking about 5 ounces of a sports drink or alternative with 4 to 8% carbohydrate (Gatorade, Accelerate, EFS, Heed and Coconut water, plain flavored for those who are trying to watch their weight) every 20 minutes can provide the proper amount of carbohydrate, electrolytes, and fluid. Start to refuel within 60-90 minutes of exercise and continue throughout as needed. Remember that unless you are training intensely for more than 1 hour at a time, a sports drink is probably not necessary.
  • After: Aim to drink about 20 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost. (You can figure this out by weighing yourself before and then after your run). Also make sure to eat something that contains carbohydrate, protein, and sodium post workout within roughly 30 minutes to replete your glycogen stores.

Feeling Down? Drink up! Need even another reason to stay hydrated? A Tufts study of young athletes found that was associated with negative mood, including fatigue and confusion, compared to the hydrated group.

Fitness Myth:
Working out in the heat burns more calories. FALSE. Any weight you lose is purely due to water/sweat so hydrate fast! See this great myth-busting article!

Want this-a towel that cools you down!!! What could possibly be the greatest invention, ever, I need right now!

How are you beating the heat this summer? Do you like training in the summer for a fall race or event?

3 comments:

Jess said...

The earlier in the morning I run, the cooler it is and less I have to deal with the heat.

By the way, is that your conquering those hills in the top photo?

Joanna @ landanimal.wordpress.com said...

I love coconut water when I really sweat it up in this summer heat. I just read earlier today that human blood actually has the same salt consistency as sea water! Crazy, huh?

steena said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing! I especially agree with the adjust your schedule (if you can) tip. For my long runs I've been getting up at 4AM, people think it's nuts, but it's that much more time out of the heat!