Summer is just around the corner, which means vacations, longer days, backyard barbeques, and?heat.
Whether you love the heat or hate it, running in warm temperatures can make even the best runners feel sluggish, overexerted and slow. Extreme heat can also cause muscle and mental fatigue, overheating and dehydration if we aren't prepared.
But, this doesn't mean you need to put your running program on pause during the summer. As with almost every activity we do, it's the use of our minds that has the greatest effect on the outcome. In this case, being mindful of how we feel physically and mentally can make the difference between enduring the heat and actually enjoying our runs. These practical Chi Running tips will help you focus, create a strategy to deal with heat, and expend less energy.
Running in the Heat Tip #1: Have a Mindful Response to Heat
- Economize your running movement. Extremely hot days are not the time to push your limits, so "shrink" your range of motion and soften your goals.
- Shorten your running stride. It's the first course of action to save energy and the easiest thing to do.
- Lean into gravity from your ankles as much as possible. Avoid using your quads and lower legs to push you forward while running.
- Don't take the heat personally. Are you feeling irritated, burdened or overwhelmed by the heat? Mother Nature doesn't have it out for you. Remember: heat is just another sensation.
- Check in with your physical body and thoughts often.
- Focus on relaxation, deep breathing and efficient technique to take your mind off the heat.