Running in hotter climates can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. Before heading out, make sure you are well hydrated. Proper hydration only fuels your run and makes tackling the heat easier. The real challenge, however, is tackling your own body temperature, which increases as you run along with high external temperatures. When your body produces more than the usual amount of heat, it responds by sending more blood to your skin in an attempt to cool it down. This way, there is a lower amount of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles.
Runners who run in an environment with high humidity find it especially difficult than dry environments. High heat and humid climates can impact your running as it increases sweat and the heart rate. Humidity also stalls the evaporation of sweat from the skin, making it difficult for the body to cool down. In such situations, it is best to maintain a steady pace, as humidity adds more stress to your body.
Importance of hydrating with water
On summer days, when you know, you’re going to be heading out for a run, hydrate yourself by taking small sips of water throughout the day. Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling it down. While sweating, you lose a significant amount of liquid. This is why not hydrating enough before a run increases your chance of dehydration immensely. Even while on a run, make sure to take small sips of water in between. You’re better of finishing your run with a stroll while sipping on water than stopping abruptly and chugging a bottle of water.
What not to do:
Avoiding the chances of Hyponatremia, a term used when there is a low concentration of sodium in the blood caused due to overhydration. Hyponatremia can cause brain swellings, seizure and death.
It’s also best to avoid beverages that dehydrate you, like coffee or alcohol. These substances have a diuretic effect, which means it produces more urine and thus a loss of liquid in your body. Pick up a sports beverage instead. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in these beverages are helpful when you’re working out on hot days.
It deserves to mention again that you should not stop your run abruptly. No matter how worn out you might be, halting a run abruptly increases your chances of a heat stroke and is a sure downfall!
As for the temperature, there is no good evidence showing that cold water is more beneficial than room temperature water. Some believe that the body absorbs cold water faster, but there is no proof showing how far this is accurate.