Monday, June 3, 2013

Beat the Heat

Whether you are a cross country runner gearing up for the summer and fall training seasons, a casual jogger, a power walker, or a parent just trying to keep up with your active kids outside, there’s no getting around the fact that it is going to be hot this summer.  To keep you from being cooped up inside and going stir crazy, you'll need some tricks to beat the heat!

The best tip, although it’s not always possible, is to try to get outside early in the day or after dark when it’s cooled off a bit. There’s a reason that when temperatures and heat indexes reach a certain point, high school athletes aren’t allowed to practice. The safest time to be outside is either before or after the heat of the day. If you struggle to get up early, enlist a friend as an accountability partner to work out with you or at least to remind you of your goals and accomplishments when you struggle.  Come out to one of our free early morning Saturday training runs at the store for some extra motivation and (BONUS!) a route with water stops.

Water is the real lifesaver in the heat. In addition to bringing water with you when you are outside, it is crucial to hydrate in advance. Pounding back tons of water right before you go outside can make you feel sick, plus it takes some time to get into your system. Your best bet is to try to drink about 100 ounces per day of water (for those of you who run) to keep your body hydrated properly. If you wait until you feel thirsty, you are often already dehydrated. Research shows that even being 2% dehydrated negatively affects performance, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before, during, and after exercise. And if you have any water left (or if you run a route with sprinklers, which is the BEST), get water on yourself to instantly cool down in the heat!

Certain gear can also make a huge difference in keeping you comfortable in the heat. Any moisture-wicking gear will do a great job of pulling sweat away from your body to keep you dry and cool, but socks are the most critical. A good pair of technical socks can be the difference between finishing a workout blister-free and having swollen, blistered, sweaty feet, so they are definitely worth the investment! Hats and other headwear like Buffs are also instrumental in keeping you safe from the blazing sun.

With Northern Kentucky’s upredictable weather, you have to be ready for anything. Rather than letting extreme heat sideline you, adjust your pace if you are out in the heat of day and try to follow some of the best practices listed above. If you need help finding moisture-wicking gear or want to improve your hydration with products like Nuun, stop by Tri-State Running Company and we’ll find just the right thing for you! We look forward to seeing you out on the roads staying safe.

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