These are still the dog days of summer for many of us. Runners, have you been keeping up with your running?
JayEll Vaughn is a runner, the Marketing/PR Director of Black Girls RUN!—a group dedicated to encouraging African American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority—and one of the lead ambassadors for BGR! Richmond. We asked her how runners can beat the summer heat. Here are her thoughts:
For me, living in a hot-summer city like Richmond, Virginia, makes me have a love-hate relationship when it comes to the climate. During summer, the hot temperatures aren’t always so bad, but the humidity is like no other!
Running during the summertime makes me think of the sun beaming down on me, and sweat dripping down my face. It’s so easy to get intimidated by the summer heat and decide to just bring your run indoors on the treadmill.
But don’t give up on getting outdoors. Running outside in the summer is doable and gives you a chance to get some fresh air and a good exercise at the same time.
Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when going for a run:
- Running before the sun gets above the horizon or as the sun is setting is a great idea. “Consider running your long distance runs earlier than usual to avoid midday heat and pollution,” says Dr. Stephen M. Pribut, the well-known advisory board member for Runners World magazine. Just make sure you stay visible in low-light conditions.
- Wear a visor or an old baseball cap. This helps to protect your head and face from the sun. Sunglasses can keep your eyes from straining and protect your eyes while running.
- Mid-day runners, make sure you put on enough sunscreen. See the REI Expert Advice suncreeen article for details.
- Stay hydrated to avoid heat stress injury. Per Dr. Pribut, hydrate 30-45 minutes before your run and drink a cupful every 10-15 minutes during exercising.
- Pace yourself while running outside during the summer as the sun can be extremely draining. It is never a good idea to overdo it. Know your limits.
- If the heat gets overwhelming, it’s always OK to migrate inside for a few days.
Speaking of summer running, Black Girls RUN! and AARP are concluding the summer with The Drive to End Hunger 5K and 10K Race on Sunday, September 16, in Atlanta. Here, runners and walkers, both men and women, will come together to fight hunger and obesity in our communities. For more information, please visit the Black Girls RUN! website.