Hi!!!!! It is starting to heat up here in Portland! The last 2 days have been in the 90s and we still show sun for a few more days (its a miracle!!!!)! With that it brings me to summer running. Each season presents its own pros and cons for running……except fall when its pretty much perfect all the time hahahaha, I am a little biased though as it is my favorite season.
Pros to summer running:
You don’t have to wear 15 layers that you want to start peeling off 10 minutes after you start.
Water fountains are actually turned on when you stop for a drink
You cannot take enough close off to cool yourself down
Feel like you sweat 15X more
That is just a few for fun there are a million more, comment your favorite and least favorite things about summer running!
So, for the safety stuff.
Sunscreen is a must! I know we all want that beautiful golden tan, ok not everyone I know I don’t mind alabaster skin if it means no skin cancer. But when you are outside as much as we runners, hikers, swimmers, bikers and everything else are you need to take care of your skin. There are 3 major skin cancer types from sun exposure and the chances of getting them increase with sunburn so take care of yourself.
Hydration is key. When it is hotter we sweat a lot more. We lose water and lots of salt. If you don’t want to carry a water bottle plan your run near places that have water fountains or place you know you can run into and get water. Also remember if you are going to be out there for more than an hour you need more than just water, you need to replenish your electrolytes, mainly sodium and chloride. Take a gel or chew with you or mix a sports drink into your water bottle. For an hour or less I like 1/4 Gatorade to 3/4 water. The longer I am out the higher the Gatorade concentration gets and the more I bring gels. When hiking I love Cliff Blocks, tropical punch is my favorite flavor. Don’t let your salts get out of balance or you can literally drown yourself from the inside out.
Snakes!!!!!! I think this is dependent on where you are but snakes like to come out on roads and trails to sun themselves so be on the lookout and know what kind of snakes are in your area, especially the poisonous ones.
Allergies/allergic reactions if you have allergies keep a Benadryl or some other allergy medicine in your pocket (just 1-2 doses in a plastic bag) for emergencies. Also if you are allergic to bees or things like that plan accordingly when running, whether that means carting along an epi-pen or whatever. Just be prepared.
Heat stroke, this is a big one. If your core temperature gets above 104 degrees F or 40 degrees C. This requires immediate emergency treatment, not getting treated can cause brain, kidney, heart and muscles damage that may be irreversible and can even cause death. If you get too hot pour water over your head and sit in the shade. It is better to cut your run short or take a break in the middle than never be able to run again.
With all that, be safe and have fun out there!!!!!!