Running In The Heat

Running In The Heat
Stay cool on your run

From sports drinks to UV protection: Defy the summer heat with our great tips

Running in the Heat: Check These Out

Hot summers can challenge even the most ambitious runners. Here’s a small heat hack to help you keep a cool head.

Sports drinks: The most important thing is to stay hydrated in the heat. Drink plenty of mineral water or sports drinks before your run. This way, you won’t have to constantly reach for your bottle – at least on runs that are no longer than an hour. Be sure to carry a drink on longer runs, for example, in a runner's bottle belt.

Sunglasses: A constant concern for those who need to wear them – and a must for everyone in the summer or bright light conditions. Good sunglasses should be lightweight and fully cover the eyes. Opting for the 'UV 400' label means you can be sure that dangerous UV-A and UV-B rays are filtered out.

Chilling out: Regeneration is as important as the training itself. Factor in at least a day's rest between two intensive running sessions. Your muscles will recover particularly well with compression products such as the Bauerfeind Sports Compression Sleeves Lower Leg.

Shower: Sure, you should always take a shower after exercise. If you’re running in the heat, a short, cold shower beforehand can also help. It lowers your body temperature so you won’t start sweating as soon.

Sunscreen: Sun protection is a must, especially on runs lasting longer than half an hour. Use a sunscreen with low oil content. Oily sunscreens can clog pores and prevent sweating.

Functional clothing: Long pants and a hoodie are not really suited to running in 30°C heat. Wear shorts and a sleeveless functional top. The lighter, airier, and brighter, the better. Run in breathable shoes and socks such as our Run Ultralight Compression Socks. They wick moisture away and ensure comfortable ventilation on your skin, while the carefully regulated level of compression reduces irritating muscle vibrations in your legs.

Acclimatisation: Even if your first run of the summer is always really hard, there is hope. As with many things, our bodies adjust to higher temperatures. After just a few days in the heat, you’ll be able to tolerate it much better and run just like always.

Cooling down: Besides keeping hydrated, it also helps to actively cool the body from the outside. A light scarf or a small sponge, and a fountain, lake, or river can help you on your run.

While sports drinks are popular, amateur athletes can often get by with diluted fruit juice, water mixes, or just water, especially for runs under an hour. Since sweating depletes minerals and salts, adding a pinch of salt to your drink can help restore balance.

Headaches: Pay attention to your body's signals. If you experience headaches, chills, stomach pains, or cramps, stop running immediately, find shade, and walk slowly.

Performance: It's common sense, but ambitious athletes often forget: Your body is less efficient in high temperatures, reacting with an increased heart rate, for example. Start slower, especially initially, and reduce your running schedule.

Hat: Wear a breathable running hat, especially for runs over 20 minutes. Since the body releases a lot of heat through the head, remove the hat when running in the shade for extended periods.

Afternoons: Avoid running in the afternoons during summer (see also 'Ozone' and 'Time of day').

Ozone: While individual tolerance varies, ozone levels above 360 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) generally warrant avoiding exercise. Ozone levels are lowest in the morning, peak in the afternoon, and decrease towards evening.

Running schedule: Due to reduced performance in heat, consider cutting your running schedule by 50% if necessary.

Cycling: If you want to exercise in hot weather, consider 'cooler' alternatives like cycling or inline skating, which provide a cooling airflow. For an even cooler option, try swimming (see 'Water').

Shade: Shade is an endurance athlete's best friend. Run in the shade whenever possible.

Time of day: Morning is the ideal time for summer running, with the lowest temperatures and ozone levels. If you're not a morning person, run late in the evening when things have cooled down. If you must run in the afternoon, seek shade.

UV Protection: In addition to sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen, Bauerfeind Sports products protect from direct sunlight.

Pampering: Replenish your body after work and exercise with mineral-rich foods like bananas, dried apricots, or whole-grain products. And don't hesitate to treat yourself to an ice cream occasionally!

Water: Water not only cools you down as a drink but also provides an exercise medium. Aqua jogging and aqua fitness offer alternatives to running and cycling, with the added benefit of being gentler on your joints. And when you've had enough, you can simply take a refreshing dip!

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