It's summer in Kansas! That means it's HOT and HUMID.
It takes four to eight weeks to adapt to the increase in heat. Adaptations include better heat transport through the circulatory system, sweating at lower temperatures, a doubling in activated sweat glands and a lower percentage of electrolyte loss in sweat.
Running in the heat can be a challenge and sometimes dangerous even once you've adapted. What can you do to play it safe and still get in your mileage?
- Slow down - expect a 10% degradation of your speed at 85 degrees. More at higher temperatures.
- Drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes.
- Choose routes in the shade if possible.
- Take walk breaks.
- Run during cooler hours of the day (early morning or after 8:00 p.m.)
- Run with a friend and look for signs of heat illness (see below).
- Wear proper clothing - light colors, tanks, dry wicking materials, visors
- Adjust your distance.
- Be cautious - consider skipping a run if there is a heat advisory.
Signs of heat illness include:
- Clammy and red skin
- No sweating and red skin (dangerous)
- Goosebumps - feeling chilly in the heat
If you experience any of these signs, its time to get off the course, into the shade and cooler temperatures and time to hydrate well. Live to run another day!