Here is Cleveland, we normally train through a lot of snowy weather. This year we were extremely lucky and had pretty awesome training weather. However, as it nears race day, it is looking like it may be a little warmer than us runners would like. Below are some tips on Hot Weather Running.
Take Fluids: Start by drinking lots of water in the days before the race. On race day, drink water or Gatorade at every aid station. I like to alternate water at one station and Gatorade at the next; then for the last couple miles, I take both. Even if you only take a sip or 2, keep taking in fluids! Carry a hand-held with you if you want or even a throw-away water bottle so that you always have it when you need it.
Cool Your Body Temperature Down: Pour water over your head, arms and shoulders. If you are wearing a hat, put ice under your it if anyone is handing it out. Ladies, putting ice down your bra can be very refreshing during a hot race.
Avoid Chafing: Wear Body Glide. Put it in any areas where you normally chafe, but also put it anywhere you think you might chafe.
Go Slow: I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but when it gets hot you may have to slow down to make it through. Look at the Boston Marathon times from this year. Most runners say they were 10-20 minutes behind their goal finishing time. Do not try to “beat the heat”
Stay Shady: If there is shade, run in it. The sun and its temperatures will zap your energy, so stay out of it. Plus, it helps to avoid those pesky runner tan lines :)
Clothing: Wear light wicking clothing. Tanks and shorts are ideal. The less clothing you are wearing, the better off you will be. Avoid dark colors. Wear hats and running socks. You are more prone to blisters in hot weather because you will sweat more and your feet will be hot. Consider wearing sunglasses (stay shady!)
Wear Sunscreen: Even if the weather says cloudy and overcast, sunglasses are a good idea. This will give you one less thing to worry about in the sun.
Family/Friends On The Course: Have them armed and ready with (I eliminated “a” from here) cold water bottles, ice, cold rags or sponges.
Distract Yourself: Don’t think about the heat. Take your mind off of it, think of something else and zone out. Think Positive! After the race you can take a nice cold bath, and of course, you’ll be able to drink as much water or ice cold beer as you want :)
Lucky for us, we should have some shade while running down parts of Lake Avenue and we should hit more shade when we run through MLK Drive. The last couple miles may be in the sun, so just hang in there because you already came so far. You’re almost done!
If you feel dizzy, faint, nauseous, or begin to experience muscle cramps or headaches, stop! These are all signs of heat exhaustion.
Now that I have taken the time to write about being safe in the sun it will probably be cool and overcast on Sunday. You’re Welcome ;)