6 Ways To Stay Safe Running In Brutal Summer Heat

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If you're an all-season runner, weather isn't a game changer, it's just something you notice while you're running through it — which probably means you haven't stopped to read up on how to stay safe running in the summer. In your mind, running through a snow storm is a great way to get an extra workout while staying cool. And running through a heat-wave is a great way to get a good sweat going. If you're not bothered by falling rain or icy streets, you're definitely a hardcore, year-round runner. And while inclement weather might make your workouts more exciting, they also make workouts more dangerous.

No matter how strong of an athlete you are and no matter how used to harsh conditions you are, it's still a risky move to run through weather extremes. Which is why it's incredibly important to know how to keep yourself safe and healthy when running through the dangerous summer heat that's definitely plaguing us right now — because nothing will ruin your summer running kick like a case of dehydration, heatstroke, fainting, cramps and minor to major skin irritations brought on by friction and heat. These are six ways to stay as safe as possible when you're running through that hot, hot heat:

Hydrate First

You're going to be sweating double-time because of the high temperatures. You need to hydrate yourself before you get going. You should drink at least 16 ounces of water or sports drink one hour before you even get moving. And then during your run, you should be drinking five to eight ounces every twenty minutes.

Go Early or Late

You don't want to run while the sun is at its strongest. Try to run before the sun has fully risen or wait until it's on its way down. If you can't avoid the sun, try to run on the shady side of the street.

Dress Down

Slather yourself in a minimum of SPF 30 and then wear as few articles of clothing as possible. Stick to light colors and breezy fabrics — microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are the best options.

Avoid Streets

This might be hard depending on where you live, but if you can, avoid running on asphalt. It will only contribute to making you hot. If you can find a trail in a park or run on the grass, that's ideal.

Slow Down

Don't start out running as fast as you usually would. Take a lighter pace and get yourself acclimated to the weather before you increase your speed. And really listen to your body — if you start to feel faint, slow down and take a break in the shade. There's never any reason to push your body.

Go Easy On Yourself

Try to shift your focus about what you need to accomplish in order to get a good run in. It's not about speed or distance in the summer, it's about listening to your body — because running one mile and staying healthy and safe is a lot better for you than running five miles and getting blisters and heat stroke.

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