Alright, we’ve spent the last 3 weeks covering way we can keep ourselves safe on the road when we’re out running. I want to shift gears a bit and talk about staying healthy on your run. We’ve been crushing heat index records left and right this summer and I know my city isn’t the only one. Aside from keeping ourselves safe from other people, unsuspecting motorists and being found should an injury occur on the run, we also need to keep ourselves healthy by prepping for our run.
11. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: I can’t tell you how many people I saw out running this summer in the middle of the day when the humidex was into the 100′s with no water, no fuel belt, no hat (more on the hat in a second). People…proper hydration is crucial both before your run and on your run. When you’re out in that kind of heat you are losing fluids like crazy. Not only do you need replace the water but also the electrolytes you’re sweating out. There are tons of excellent products out there that are fantastic for refueling. For myself, I drink lots of water days (yes, days) before I run. I want my body hydrated at all times, especially during an active training cycle. When I’m on my run, I carry a water bottle with Nuun in it. Perfect combination and along with running during the cooler parts of the day, it’s kept me from getting heat stroke, or worse. Still don’t think you need to worry? Give your arm a lick when you get home from a run and tell me it’s not ridiculously salty.
12. Dress for the Conditions: I find this tip the most useful when talking winter running (I know…what’s winter again??). Make sure you’re wearing the proper layers. Wicking layer on the bottom (also called a skin layer) to pull the sweat off your skin, tech shirt in the middle and wind proof jacket on top. Now, not everyone experiences -40 weather like I do so be smart. If you’re unsure, contact your local running store for advice. A good rule of thumb is to dress as though it’s 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. And please, please, please get a decent hat, neck warmer, ear warmer and gloves for winter running. Losing ears and digits to frostbite isn’t badass people…it’s dumbass.
13. Protect yourself from the Sun: Enough talk about this winter phenomenon, lets get back to the heat. Please, please, please wear a hat or visor, sunglasses and sunscreen when you’re out running. I am very guilty of not putting sunscreen on when I go running and this is a practice I need to change. Skin cancer is nothing to take lightly and we should never get into the mindset that “it will never happen to me” because it can. Protect your skin, protect your eyes. Very important!
Have I missed anything? I’m loving your comments and emails about this topic. As it’s taken me a month to get through everything, you can tell this is very near and dear to me.