With the soaring temperatures occurring all over the United States, you may be wondering how people safely run in this heat. Whenever possible, it’s best to run early in the morning. However, running in the heat of the day is sometimes unavoidable, such as when participating in a relay like Hood-to-Coast.
If you can't avoid exercise in the heat, here are some critical points to remember to stay safe and hydrated during every workout session.
A Guide to Hydration for Runners
If you are going to be running for 30 minutes, you may not need to bring water with you. For any run more than 45 minutes, follow these rules:
- Pre-hydrate: Drink 17–20 fluid ounces (fl. oz.) two hours before running so that you will start off properly hydrated.
- Maintain hydration: Drink about 5–10 fl. oz. (or a few good long drinks) of water every 15–20 minutes while running.
- Hydrate afterward: Post-exercise hydration gets fluid levels back to normal and can help with recovery. For every pound lost while running, drink 16–24 fl. oz. of water.
Sports Drinks: Sports drinks can help replace the electrolytes that are lost in sweat, BUT make sure to read the label. Some of these drinks contain added caffeine or protein. Both ingredients can upset your stomach. Always test how these drinks will affect you before using them during an event.
Dehydration Risks for Runners
Always be vigilant, as dehydration can have a devastating impact on your body. Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Decrease in energy
Possibly more dangerous is hypernatremia, or overhydrating. It is rare but can happen when someone exercises for a long period of time and consumes too much water. During longer workouts, alternate between sports drinks and water.
Gear Recommendations to Help Runners Stay Hydrated
By the way, if a handheld water bottle is uncomfortable, try a belt like this one.
Need a Refresher on Picking Running Shoes?
Did you miss the tips on how to find a great fitting shoe that can help you run more comfortably and reduce repetitive motion injuries? Go here for details.
Janet Rosenthal, Director of Sales at BlueVolt, is a seasoned runner who has completed hundreds of marathons, over 100 ultras, has finished the Boston Marathon several times, and she has participated in Hood-to-Coast before. She is also an experienced running coach and a Level I USATF distance coach.
Visit this link to LEARN MORE about Hood-to-Coast 2021.