As a lifelong athlete as well as coach, I have had many days where I have had to practice or play on exceptionally hot days. Some days it feels like the sun will melt you in your uniform or training gear like a runny egg into your shoes. On these days, it is critical to practice awareness in regard to preventing overheating, heatstroke, and sunburns.
Here is a Tik-Tok video I made today of me running 80 yard sprints uphill in 100 degree heat:
Top 10 Tips For Preventing Heat Related Illness (Made with help from Jetpack A.I)
Running in hot weather can be challenging and potentially dangerous if not approached with caution. Here are some key tips to keep in mind when running in hot weather:
- Hydration: Stay well hydrated before, during, and after your run. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to replace the water lost through sweat.
- Time of day: Try to schedule your runs during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid the peak heat hours.
- Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, light-colored, and breathable clothing that helps to reflect the sun’s heat and allow sweat evaporation.
- Sun protection: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF value to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear a hat or visor and consider using sunglasses to shield your face and eyes.
- Pace yourself: Adjust your running pace to accommodate the hot conditions. Slow down and listen to your body. Pay attention to signs of overheating, such as dizziness or nausea, and take breaks as needed.
- Seek shade or cool areas: Plan your running route in shaded or cooler areas, such as trails with tree cover or parks with water fountains. Take advantage of natural shade whenever possible.
- Monitor your body: Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, including excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, confusion, or fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop running and seek medical assistance if necessary.
Dangers of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a real thing, here is a link to the symptoms from the Mayo Clinic. As an athlete, I have gotten pretty close to this a few times. It is important that when you are feeling dizzy or disoriented to find some shade and hopefully some cold water. In my experience, pouring cold water on your head and neck area, getting your clothing or hat wet, and finding shade are the best ways to prevent heat stroke. I also have found that ending a workout with a swim in this type of weather does a couple of great things. It will cool you off quickly, restoring your body’s sense of equilibrium in the heat. Secondly, it will feels terrific (I jumped in the pool immediately after my running today and it was fantastic).
Observing Signs of Heat Stroke in Others
Heat Stroke can kill people very fast once they reach a certain threshold. Knowing the signs of heatstroke in others is vital to prevention efforts. As a coach, I look for athletes unable to recover when exerting themselves. Panting excessively, along with a very flushed looking face, some disorientation can be tell tale signs that it is time to get that person some help. Generally speaking if it is over 100 degrees practices especially should be shortened and made to be less strain on the body. Water breaks every 10 to 15 minutes are necessary and it is vital to listen to athletes when they say they are not feeling well.
Heat Stroke in Pets
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat stroke due to their fur. Dogs do not have the ability to sweat to cool down, so they only way the cool off is by panting. For some breeds, they have extra insulation to survive cold climates. It is vital that these dogs are given water, maybe even a kiddie pool in their outdoor space, or access to the indoor part of your home during the hottest parts of the day. A dogs paws are also vulnerable to overheating. A good rule of thumb is: if you would not walk outside barefoot, neither should they.
I hope this has been interesting or at the very least informative. Likes, Follows, and Subscriptions are always appreciated! Keep cool my friends!
Check out some of my other recent articles, if you have a moment!
Additional Resources (Chat GPT) – 20 Best Websites for Running Safely in Heat
- Runner’s World: https://www.runnersworld.com/
- Active.com: https://www.active.com/
- Cool Running: http://www.coolrunning.com/
- MapMyRun: https://www.mapmyrun.com/
- Running in the USA: http://www.runningintheusa.com/
- Competitor Running: https://www.competitor.com/category/run
- Running Warehouse: https://www.runningwarehouse.com/
- Sweat Science: https://sweatscience.com/
- The Running Bug: https://therunningbug.com/
- Women’s Running: https://www.womensrunning.com/
- Fellrnr: https://fellrnr.com/
- iRunFar: https://www.irunfar.com/
- Believe in the Run: https://www.believeintherun.com/
- Let’s Run: https://www.letsrun.com/
- The Ginger Runner: https://www.thegingerrunner.com/
- Marathon Guide: https://www.marathonguide.com/
- Ultrarunning Magazine: https://ultrarunning.com/
- Trail Runner Magazine: https://trailrunnermag.com/
- The Active Times: https://www.theactivetimes.com/
- Outdoor Fitness Magazine: https://www.outdoorfitnessmag.com/