Running in the heat – practical advice

Summer, sun, heat. It seem the weather is great. You can enjoy the warmth of the sun, which together with a light breeze creates ideal conditions for playing a ball on the beach, lazy lying on the shore, swimming in the sea or river, and … actually, not for anything else. Of course, this weather is not favorable for training, and running in the heat in particular.

running in the heat advice

From this point of view, our body feels better when we run in the cold. In such conditions, layers of clothing allow to find the thermal comfort. On a hot day – even if we go out completely without clothes – we will not find this comfort.

The standard advice given for running in the heat are: run in the morning or in the evening when it’s cold.  However, there are more useful tips that allow to train in summer at any time.


First of all, do not avoid the heat at all. It is necessary to gradually begin to train more and more under the sun. With this acclimatization you will improve the body’s ability to withstand high temperatures. The body will cool more effectively. The body will also learn to make better use of sodium, which helps to maintain the fluid balance in cells. To notice changes, you need at least 7-10 days of acclimatization.

running in the heat acclimatisation

The role of salt

Proper hydration is a key factor that will help you to survive in running in the heat. Check how much fluid you lose with sweat under certain conditions. Then you will know exactly how much to drink while running in the heat.

  • Hydration process starts the day before the start. During this time you should consume much more salt than usual. Sodium causes the body to retain fluid.
  • Drink 600 ml of water about three hours before bedtime. This liquid charge will increase the amount of plasma and improve the body’s ability to thermoregulate over the next day. If the urine before going to bed is darker than straw, drink another 300 ml of water. (It’s hard to overdo it, drink water until the urine becomes almost transparent.)
  • Also don’t forget to sleep as long as possible at night before the start. The mechanism is not scientifically explained, but prolonged sleep seems to improve the body’s resistance to heat.
  • At the day of the run, get up early and drink another serving of water (300 ml) and then eat a light salty breakfast (e.g. salted croissant, banana and coffee).

salt is important for running in the heat

 How to dress for a running in the heat

Another weapon against the heat is the right suit. Cap – needless to say, but, oddly enough, even experienced runners often forget about it.

It is necessary to use the experience of Bedouins. For good reason they dress in long spacious clothes that cover the whole body. No short shorts and tops, and similar items of clothing.  Try to keep your arms and legs completely covered.

Also, make sure the open skin areas are smeared with UV filter cream. Do not miss the less obvious areas to cover. These include, for example, bends under the knees, which can also be easily burned.

How to survive when running in the heat

You can try to lower your body temperature before running in the heat. For example, this can help drunk an hour before the run smoothie. In 2010, researchers from New Zealand found that runners who drank a sweetened drink with crushed ice could run on a running track in a heated room for 10 minutes longer than people who just drank cold water and juice.

Cooling vest can also play the role. Especially if we are talking about professional sports. To reduce body temperature, use it half an hour before the start. These vests work on the same principle as cooling bandanas and towels: wet the vest in water, and special polymers come into effect. Upon contact with water, they begin to have a cooling effect. After the vest is dry, it needs to be wetted again and it will be ready to work again.

Experts do not recommend jogging before the start of the long distance running in the heat. Instead, it’s better to just walk fast in the shadow.

The following stages of cooling – during the running in the heat. Here each athlete has his own ways. Someone pours water directly on the head, someone sews special ice pockets in headdress or clothes.

during water on the head to cool when running in the heat

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