Summertime Running Tips to Beat the Heat

running photoThings are heating up. Not only are the temperatures climbing, but race-day preparations are escalating. Prepare for high and low-intensity workouts by creating a heat plan. Proper precautions now and during your 5K or marathon will ensure your chances of mastering your time challenge and feeling good afterward.

Keep a positive fluid balance now—don’t wait until race day to drink more than you usually do—we’re not camels and obviously do not store water. Drinking too much on race day can lead to serious health issues, including exercise-induced hyponatremia, which is an electrolyte disorder caused by a decrease in sodium levels. (Try adding a small shake or two of table salt into fluid replacements; this should only add a slightly salty taste to 20-oz. of water.) Get into the habit now of replacing daily what you lose, and sync into a simple race-day drinking and fuel replacement plan.

Also, make adjustments as necessary and watch your alcohol and medication regimens. Antidepressants and antihistamines—especially during this high-pollen, allergy-fueled season—can have a dehydrating effect. Build in time to acclimate and be aware of forecasts. Hot weather can decrease your timing and increase the intensity of your training.

The bottom line is to pay attention to your body. Following a few simple guidelines will help you beat the heat and not sweat the small stuff.


Courtesy of Jon Divine, MD; Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine with UC Health and Medical Director of University of Cincinnati Athletics

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