We have the scorching summers of Dubai creeping on us. Naturally, beginner-level runners would be confused as to how to go about their running during the agonizing summers. We’ve got a few pointers for you folks, so just keep on reading!
Acclimate yourself to the hot weather.
We all know our bodies have a thing for acclimation. Acclimation, simply means, ‘Getting used to something’. The keyword is acclimation, Super important.
Your body takes around 2-4 weeks to acclimate to warmer conditions. You have to slowly let your body ease into your more intense running during the summers. Here’s something you can try to get acclimated to the summers
1. You start by brisk walking for a few days
2. Graduate to a light jog for a week
3. Then transition into your running.
Hydrate yourself and fuel your body with the right food.
We cannot stress this enough. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, and HYDRATE yourself regularly. Let’s be honest, how often do we hydrate ourselves? Not that often, don’t lie to me.
Hydration is important but it is equally important to get in your electrolytes, we lose a lot of salt when we sweat, and replenishing the electrolytes will help us feel less dead and prevent us from drinking too much water. Yes, drinking too much water is a thing.
Choosing the right time
We’ll be honest, this one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? But still putting it out here, just in case, if we have a special few here who aren’t aware.
You have to choose the right time, you don’t want to be running when the sun is at its peak, there’s no way you’re going to enjoy the run unless you’re a masochist.
We recommend running early in the morning – before dawn or late at night – after sunset. Comparatively lesser heat = more enjoyable run for you.
Don’t skip your warmup or your sun protection.
You need your mind and body to be told, “We are going to do something intense, ready up!”, that’s essentially what a warmup is.
You are mentally and physically preparing your body for some demanding physical activity. Warmups reduce the risk of an injury. A simple warmup would consist of gradually increasing your heart rate, loosening your tight joints via dynamic stretches, and finally, easing into your running.
Since the sun is out, sun protection is a no-brainer. To keep it short without the science jargon, the UV rays coming from the sun can damage your skin and in some cases cause skin cancer. Yep, not making that up. Invest in a good sunscreen and use it.
Wearing the right gear
This could be a whole other blog (Who knows, there might be one being written as you’re reading this. Hehe) which goes into the specifics of the fabrics and shoes you need to wear but here are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Wear breathable shoes, This isn’t the time for you to be worried if your running shoe has Gore-Tex tech or not, you need shoes that won’t make your feet feel like they are going to burn before you do.
Moisture-wicking apparel -
• You’ve seen the climacool apparel from Adidas or the dri-fit from Nike? That isn’t just a fancy marketing gimmick, those apparel are designed in a way that absorbs your sweat while also keeping the entire fabric breathable. Imagine you wearing a cotton tee, and you’re drenched in sweat, how comfortable is that? Yikes… just typing it out gives me the jitters.
• Wear appropriate shorts, you don’t want your thighs chafing back and forth. Super uncomfortable, would definitely not recommend. You could wear running tights under your shorts too to prevent thigh chafing.
Cap or Visor –
• Often overlooked, make sure to get a good cap to block the sun directly hitting your scalp and to protect your eyes. Pretty self-explanatory.
Heat Cramps, Heat exhaustion, and Heat Stroke
• Heat cramps affect your muscles and cause them to spasm. Drink plenty of water. People who are acclimated to hotter environments experience fewer heat cramps.
• Heat exhaustion when you’re in the heat for too long can cause dizziness, nausea and possibly could lead to fainting.
• Heatstroke is a more serious condition that requires a medical emergency. It is caused when the body overheats. Heatstroke can cause damage to your brain, kidneys, and muscles.
I highly doubt that the weather would hinder the runs of our passionate beginners and intermediates. We have provided you with some solid tips for you to keep in mind before you plan a running routine for the summer. Like always, find your fit and keep running!