There's nothing more disappointing on a hot run than reaching for your water bottle just to suck down warm H20. To keep your liquids cool, freeze your bottles before heading out. "If you are running with a water belt, completely freezing a couple of bottles is a way to ensure the availability of cold fluid late in a longer run," says Helbig. Prefer to run unencumbered? Hop in the car before you go out and stash some bottles along your route.
To get off to a cool start, Mike Ehredt, a running coach and ultrarunner in Hope, Idaho, whips up a slushie with frozen lemonade, crushed ice and Hyland's Bioplasma Sport for added electrolytes. "I drink it right before I go out. It cools my core and keeps me comfortable for longer than just plain water."
"You should always dress as if the outside temperature is 20 degrees warmer than it actually is," stresses Dave Myatt, a certified running coach with the Chicago Area Runners Association. "That's about how much our body temperature increases when running," he says.
As for what to wear, cotton is typically a no-no since it absorbs water and can weigh you down, trap heat next to your body, and increase your chances of chafing. Instead, "Go for a moisture-wicking material that helps evaporate the sweat your body generates in its attempt to cool itself," says Myatt. Switching to lighter socks can help your feet stay cool, while wearing a lightweight hat or visor can keep sweat out of your eyes while protecting your face from the sun's rays. Beene even soaks his hat in water and freezes it before particularly hot runs. "Sure, it thaws in a pretty short time, but it gives me a good start, and a mental boost, for sure."
Slow It Down
Fact: running in the heat physiologically slows the body down. "We're not as efficient at 80 to 90 degrees as we are in 50- to 60-degree temps," says Helbig. So don't be afraid to slow things down if you have to, especially if you' feel nauseous, light headed, sleepy, confused or even cold—all signs that you may be overheating. "To avoid hitting that danger zone, you may need to take regular walk breaks," says Myatt. "Slowing down and walking are not signs of weakness. It's actually smart training that will pay off down the road."race.