It's been a hot summer so far. And it looks like it's not over yet. For runners, these increased temperatures and humidity present various challenges. Almost definitely, the most important of these is staying hydrated.
We're all a bit guilty of not staying properly hydrated, at least some times. So, we've been looking at various ways of keeping 'watered' during these hot months. Drawn from experience (hard lessons? ;) ) and research, here are a few of our suggestions.
1. Hydrate ahead of running
Make sure you consume enough water, or water-rich foods, in the hours before running. Although hard to judge, a good indicator is that your pee should be a light straw colour.
2. Avoid drinking alcohol the night before running
It's often tempting to have a beer / wine or two the evening before running (well, typically it is a Saturday). However, it will cause significant dehydration, dampening the benefits of any pre-run hydration.
3. Drink water / fluids while you run
Being able to re-hydrate as you run will help, especially on longer runs. There are different ways of doing this. Here are a few options :
- carry water in hand-held water bottles
- run with a hydration pack
- take money and buy water / energy drinks from shops along your route.
- carry a reusable cup and plan your route to be able to take water from drinking fountains (may only apply to certain cities)
4. Re-hydrate after running
As well as creating sweat while running, the body will continue to perspire for some time after exercise has ended. So it helps to re-hydrate with water, energy drinks or water-rich foods.
5. Take a shower as soon as convenient
Showering will help lower the body's temperature to it's pre-run levels, removing / lessening its need to perspire.