I bet the runners who decided to sit out today's Boston Marathon -- over 4,000 of them, by the way -- weren't expecting to be sidelined by temperatures of over 80 degrees. (Not really typical mid-April in New England kinda weather, you know?) But they probably did the right thing, especially considering the Boston Athletic Association's warning: Experienced runners, watch for heat stroke; inexperienced runners, try again next year!
I'm not one for marathons myself, but I do like to run ... on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym, at least once it starts getting hot outside. Still, it would be nice to take the occasional out-of-doors jog without the fear of spontaneous combustion and/or turning lobster red. (So attractive!)
Here are some tips you can use even if you're NOT training for a marathon. (Did I mention I'm not? Cause I'm not.)
1. Stay hydrated!!! This is an obvious one, I know, but there's more to it than you might think. Basically? If you feel thirsty, that means you're ALREADY dehydrated ... so drink enough water to avoid getting parched.
2. If you get so sweaty that your clothes are soaked, take them off. Wet clothing actually hampers evaporation.
3. Speaking of clothing, stick with white (which reflects the sun's rays) as opposed to black (which absorbs the sunlight).
4. Avoid running at midday when the sun is at its strongest -- mornings and evenings are coolest. And choose the shadiest areas possible.
5. Know the difference between signs of heat exhaustion (faintness, weakness, and mental confusion) and heat stroke (decreased sweating and hot, dry skin). Both mean to STOP running; heat stroke means you should seek medical treatment immediately!
6. Slow down! Don't run as fast as usual.
7. Take walking breaks -- don't run continuously.
Do you have any tips to share for running in hot weather?
Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr