How’s the weather?

So, how’s the weather? I have probably asked this question a thousand times in my correspondence with my counterparts and Manager in the US. It’s one sure question to start a good conversation rolling. When I was recently asked about the weather here, I convincingly said that it was hot — very hot! I just realized that it’s summer once again. Then I heard  on the news the other night that it can get hotter during April and May.

Heat is one of the challenges that runners are faced with. It can lead to sunburn, dizziness, dehydration and, worse, heatstroke. As I read up about the topic, the underlying theme is PREPAREDNESS. Let me share the things that I have read about running in the heat. Some were also tips given by fellow runner.

  1. Run early or late. Our PAG-ASA weather bureau said that it is hottest between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. So, it is better to run before 10:00 am or after 3:00 pm. Then again, experience might tell us to finish the run before 8:00 am or start running around 5:00 pm. The key is to be ahead of the sun. I was told that the best thing to do is wake up very early and finish the run before 8:00 am, even before sunrise.
  2. Plan the route. In practice runs, like LSD, it is best to plan ahead and see if there are possible ‘stop points’ to rest a bit or re-hydrate. These ‘stop-points’ can include convenience stores, sari-sari stores, waiting sheds, etc. I recall that when I joined one LSD run with the Takbo.ph group, we stopped at a mini stop store at McKinley Hill to rest and rehydrate. In run events, carefully examine the race route to know where the water stations are so you can pace your run accordingly.
  3. Hydration Belt. If possible, purchase a hydration belt. In hot conditions, some runners may need to drink more than the usual amount of fluids. Oftentimes, a runner may need to drink in between water stations and hydration belts will surely be of help.
  4. Sunblock. In articles that I’ve read, one should apply a sunblock 20 minutes before going out of the sun to ensure that the skin absorbs the lotion. It should at least be SPF 30. And it should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The advise of Deena Kastor about applying sunblock: “Start taking it seriously.”
  5. Shades. Eye-protection is also important. It should be lightweight and designed for sports activities. The lenses should block out 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  6. Consider running or training indoors. It you have access to it, try to run or train in a gym using the treadmill or the stationary bike for cross-training.
  7. Know thy limitations. I’ve read in an article that when it gets very hot and unbearable, it is best to slow down and eventually, stop at some point. A good quote I’ve read says: “Don’t be a hero in the heat.”

As I’ve mentioned, the key is to be prepared. I hope this helps a bit. Do run safe and Happy Running!

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