You may have noticed that its gotten pretty hot out there. I mean just about everywhere in these United States. It seems we went from winter to summer in one week, and spring never seemed to make its appearance. With this heat that is coming in waves from west to east, across the country, its important to pay attention to local heat indexes and to gauge just when your going to be lacing up for your run. After all, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know you need to stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day!

For most of us, that time is between, 4 pm and 6:30 pm, depending on your various time-zones.

Just for the record, I’m listing a few do’s and don’ts here below as a reminder of what you need to do in order to have a safe run during the heat of summer.

Keep in mind the first runs in hot weather are always more difficult, after all, your body has been used to running in more moderate if not colder temperatures that we experienced this past winter season that seemed to never end. But now it has, and we have to make sure we make the right transition from running in cooler temperatures to tackling that bright sun and intense heat.

Naturally, the best thing to do is to schedule your runs according to the weather where you live. You can’t go too far wrong if you do an early morning or evening run. You’re still getting your workout in but by default, the heat is going to be lower while the sun is still working on climbing over or setting on the horizon.

If you do choose to run during the day because of your schedule, make sure you prep your body prior to heading out the door. You can try to lower your body temperature a bit by cooling down in an air-conditioned room for a bit and drinking a cool glass of water. Both of these things will work on your body, pre-run and help it keep itself cool as you begin your run.

Stretch those leg and calf muscles! It’s very important that you do a series of stretching exercises before you head out the door. In the summer, our muscles and tendons need to be stretched to make them supple prior to them having to deal with the pressure-shock of hitting the open road or a mountain trail. Squats and jumping jacks are good ways to loosen up and you may want to try and do some forward lunges as well.

Next thing, I mentioned drinking water prior to heading out the door, but know how long and how far your training run will be taking you, and with this new found heat, you’re going to want to take with you at least a Water-Bottle, like the Camelbak Delaney, or if it’s a run of more than 5 miles I’d suggest taking along a Hydration Pack,  like the Camelbak Octane XCT Runners Hydration Pack. The extra stability of having a waist strap will mean you won’t have any unnecessary bouncing of the pack on your shoulders. Now, remember, I mentioned that you need to know your route, especially in this heat and you need to stay hydrated with at least water, and if your trek takes you in the proximity of neighborhood parks equipped with water fountains or a convenience store, then you can always take a water break there.

The next important item to take into consideration is your clothing choices.
You don’t want to head out for a run only to realize you’ve chosen the wrong fit or fabric. Here are some things to look out for…

AVOID COTTON!
The apparel and footwear that you choose can either make or break your run. I think one of the worst experiences is to go out for a run and be completely overheated and sweating because you chose the wrong outfit. There’s one rule that everyone should be aware of: COTTON HATES SUMMER! The only thing you definitely don’t need when it’s warm outside is a material that absorbs your sweat, and cotton does that. Therefore, opt for more appropriate fabrics that will let your body breathe, such as synthetic materials. These fabrics allow your sweat to be “wicked” away from your body and allow air to penetrate to help in the cooling process

WEAR GEAR THAT ADAPTS AND PERFORMS
It’s summer, right? Then break out the tank-tops and shorts when the weather turns warmer, especially when you’re going for a run! Add in a sports bra and a great pair of trainers and you’re ready to go. Choose synthetic materials because I feel more comfortable in clothing that dries quickly and lets my body breathe while I run. The garments pull sweat away from your body and increase micro-ventilation through strategically placed mesh panels. The sweat and moisture is wicked away from your skin keeping you dry and comfortable. I love a tank because it helps to keep me cool in the heat. Running tanks are made from lightweight breathable fabrics and cut in a way that the fabric moves with your body instead of against it. A running tank will be a bit longer in the torso so that it stays in place giving you effortless movement. When I choose my running shorts I always consider if the product has everything that I need. The right length will not only flatter your shape but also keep you from chafing. And of course, a moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry and move the moisture from your skin.

SPORTS BRA SUPPORT
For girls, never forget to wear a good sports bra! This is one of the must-have pieces for women. You don’t want any distractions while you are running, and the right sports bra is critical for your comfort and your health. Make sure the bra holds you in place but still allows you to take a deep breath. Remember, running in the heat is all about keeping yourself as cool as you can. Sweating and the wrong fabric choice can turn any run into a painful ordeal after an hour or so. This is just as important with the sports bra you choose to wear. Today, there are many companies that make a bra that will help let the air penetrate and allow the sweat to pass through, yes, wicking material is used in these as well. Just do a search and select the brand that fits your personal needs.

THE RIGHT SHOES!
Remember, you get what you pay for and in this case, besides getting a great fit for your feet. A reputable online store, staffed with experienced people that have the right knowledge about what they sell, can make you feel comfortable about the selling process. Especially if the web-based store has a customer friendly “Chat Service”. After all, there are many different kinds of shoes, meant to be worn by people looking to tackle specialized running or other sports activities.  With their help, they can not only fit you with the proper shoe but in speaking with them, via the chat service, and explaining the kind of running/training you’re going to be doing they can recommend the right style of shoe to fit your needs.
Remember, the last thing you want is to have your feet go past tired, to sore, at the end of your run, just because you’re wearing the wrong type of shoe. Use their experience and get the shoes that fit your needs.
These are just my suggestions on how to get ready for a summertime run in the hot weather. The one thing I can’t give you is the “Common Sense” you need, to decide if its just too hot to run.
That my friend is entirely on you!