10 Summer Running Safety Tips To Remember

10 Summer Running Safety Tips To Remember

You love the sunshine and longer daylight hours that come along with summer, but as a runner you also have to make seasonal adjustments to your training program. Check out these ten summer running safety tips that cover everything from properly planning your warm-weather runs to knowing how to prevent and identify heat-related illnesses.

  1. Plan to get your run done early in the morning or in the evening. Avoid running between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM on hot summer days. The morning and evening hours are always going to be cooler. Running early or late will help reduce your chances of becoming overheated. You should also remember to check the local weather and humidity level. If the temperature is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70%, train on the treadmill instead.
  1. Don't forget to wear sunscreen with a high SPF and light-colored breathable clothing. Apply a broad-spectrum sport sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and wear breathable running apparel that allows the sweat to evaporate from your skin. Find a sunscreen that's water-resistant as well so that it keeps your skin protected even on super sweaty runs.
  1. Wear a mesh hat and anti-fogging sunglasses. Wear a breathable mesh hat that will keep the sun off of your face and head. In addition, make sure you have a pair of sunglasses that won't slide off your face or fog up as you start to sweat in the heat and humidity.
  1. Hydrate adequately before, during, and after your run. If you run in the mornings, start hydrating the night before with a sports drink or electrolyte tablet. Water alone won't hydrate you sufficiently on hot summer days. Sports drinks and tablets help regulate fluid, mineral, and electrolyte balance in your body. This is a particularly important aspect of hydration that new runners may not be aware of or consider during the summer months.
  1. Skip the coffee and cocktails. Both caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration because they are diuretics. Go with decaf or iced herbal tea instead.
  1. Consider which route you'll take beforehand. It's a good idea to take summer running routes that have more shade, places to refill water bottles, and areas to rest. Before you leave the house, let a friend or family member know which route you are taking and how long you plan to be gone.
  1. Know the symptoms of dehydration and heat-related illnesses. If you are dehydrated, you may start to feel faint, nauseous, experience heart palpitations, and/or lightheadedness. Be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke as well. Learning how to identify these symptoms in case you or a fellow runner experiences a heat-related illness is an important part of summer running safety.
  1. Know what to do if you or a fellow runner starts to experience symptoms of dehydration. Stop running, call someone to pick you up, drink plenty of water, take a cold shower, and get into the air-conditioning. If you are still experiencing symptoms of dehydration after an hour, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
  1. Reduce your pace and expectations of yourself. The fact of the matter is that you won't be able to maintain the same pace and level of endurance on 90-degree summer day as you would on a 70-degree spring or fall day. Cut yourself some slack. Continue to work at a slower, but steady pace. Your body will start to adjust to the warmer temperatures and improvement will come.
  1. Use a Run's Done Sports Towel Seat Cover. There's nothing more uncomfortable than sitting in a puddle of your own sweat after a run. Before you get back into your vehicle after a summer run, use a Run's Done seat cover that will help wick away perspiration and keep you cool.

Now that you have a list of summer running safety tips to follow, be sure to put them into practice as the weather gets warmer. Keep all of your summer runs safe and fun!


Debbie Hanson is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger, and runner based in Estero, Florida. Her publishing credits include several outdoor-related web sites and magazines including USA Today. In addition to multiple 5K running events, she has completed the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, Naples Daily News Half Marathon, and looks forward to tackling her first full marathon within the next two years.





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