We all know that running in hot weather isn’t the most pleasurable thing to do. Running in high temperature and humidity can put you at risk for dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Probably the best idea would be not to run, when summer is on top. However, what about the situation that you travel to the hot countries and you still want to keep fit and hold your training routine? If you keep in mind these few tips, it’s still possible to run in tropics effectively.
1. Run early morning or late evening
Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun is very strong so running will be very difficult. The best time is morning (right before a sunrise) or early evening (right after the sunset). These are the coolest times of the day so you won’t burn alive :) Another extra bonus is that you will have an opportunity to watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset!
2. Avoid open, sunny spaces
Don’t try to run on open spaces like roads or fields. They will be heated up the most, especially during the day. If you must train during the sunny hours, try to stick to shady trails, parks or forests. When it’s hot, it’s even better to run in the city where you can find a shadow, rather than in the nature under the full sun.
3. Run after the rain
When you live in tropic countries, it’s likely that you will experience a heavy rain. Especially in wet season it rains at the afternoon or early evening. It’s actually a blessing for runners. After the rain, the air is fresh and cool so it’s a perfect time to go for a run. Use this moment for a workout.
4. Hydrate yourself regularly
The easiest way to avoid heat disorders is to keep your body well hydrated. Remember to drink at least a glass of water before running. If you plan a long run, take a bottle of water with you and drink it while exercising. During the long workouts, it’s smart to drink an isotonic, which contains electrolytes.
5. Choose adequate clothes
First thing to remember is that a dark colors absorb the sun’s light and heat. Forget about a black t-shirt. Light-colored clothes are the best for running in hot weather. Choose from synthetic fabrics (this time not cotton). They are breathable, wick moisture away and leave your skin dry.
6. Wear sunscreen
Protecting your skin against the sun is one of the most important things to remember. In tropics sun is much stronger that you think. Even if you run in the morning or in a cloudy day, use the sunscreen. It should be waterproof so it will protect you even when you sweat. Choose at least 30 SPF. The good option is to pick up a sport sunscreen. They are long-lasting and not sticky.
7. Cool down
Cooling down after a run allows your heart rate to slow down gradually. Especially in a high temperature and humidity it’s important to prepare your body for a change. Finish your running session with a mild transition from running to an easy jogging and then walking. After that give yourself a few minutes for stretching.
8. Don’t push yourself to the limit
You need to take the weather condition into consideration. When the temperature is very high, your organism will be more exhausted after a long running. Slow down a bit, don’t push yourself, be understanding for your body. If you feel that you need a break, just do it. Remember that sport is for fun and for health, not only for the achievements.