Jul 26, 2019

by Team Snapbac

Unless your passion is winter sports, summer dominates our enthusiasm for athletic activities from field to track. With warm breezes and long sunny days, we take to the great outdoors to burn calories, train and play our favorite sports. The oldest and most beloved outdoor activity is running. We took to it naturally as children when we played hide and seek, tag and raced each other down long stretches of lawn. As adults and athletes, it’s often our go-to choice for a daily workout, outdoor warm-up or cardio conditioning for sport specific training. When part of a regular exercise routine, it’s important to keep some basic rules and suggestions in mind to reduce your risk of injury, increase the benefits of your run and enhance your pleasure in the moment!

One of the top concerns of running in this summer heat is well the heat. It seems obvious, and yet heat stroke is ten times more likely to kill an endurance runner than a cardiac attack. Though heat stroke can happen in any weather, our summer months bring it front and center. The key to avoiding this completely preventable problem is to listen to your body. If it says stop, find shade or jump in a pool of ice water, do it! If you feel dizzy, nauseous, weak or have a general bad feeling that is not normal for you, it’s best to stop then and there. You can race or practice another time or another day. Drinking more water is not an answer to heat stroke either, but it is an answer to hydration.

This is our next summer concern for runners! Anything over 88 degrees and our bodies are losing 2% of their hydration for every 60-minutes of activity on average. If this doesn’t raise concern, then consider that the more water-based body weight you lose in a race, the lower your performance level goes. When focusing on hydration, add a little sodium, i.e. salt, to your water and a bit of honey for a carb boost to restore muscle glycogen. This is the reason behind sports drinks, but they often have too many calories in a bottle. Always start your run fully hydrated, so if you run when you first wake up, remember your body hasn’t had any liquid all night long. Fill up and wait 30 to 45 minutes, then drink 13-26 ounces every hour that you run. Essentially sip every 5-7 minutes on the trail!

To add in a little summer fun to your run, have your kit stocked with sunblock for your face and body, a pair of secure fit shades, a sun visor or hat if desired and a fully-loaded playlist with all your favorite songs to keep you pumped from start to finish. You might consider a cool rag around your neck and cooling wrist wraps to help regulate core temperature. Finally, pull on your Snapbac compression tights and use the ice packs to cool your muscles after blazing down a hot trail.