There’s been a lot of talk of tomorrow being the hottest day of the year so far, and with plenty of humidity. Race organizers are worried about dehydrated runners, thunderstorms, and the increased chances of major health issues. When running in extreme heat (which is sometimes “unavoidable” when doing a race”) there are some things you can do to beat the heat during a race.
Make sure you hydrate well. This should be a mantra for runners regardless, but a couple extra glasses of water will go a long way on the road. Be sure to hydrate well the day before as well. Remember, hydrating should be more like watering the lawn than flooding the rink: slow, consistent hydration is better than drinking a lot of water in a short period of time right before you run.
When going through water stations grab two cups, one for drinking, one for dumping over your head/neck. This extra cup will help cool your body down. Just be careful: Gatorade in the mouth, water on the head. It could get sticky if you mix ’em up.
Choosing what to wear is often a tough task for runners, and the summer is no different. Many companies are now making very thin, light, and breathable long-sleeved shirts for summer that will keep you skin cool while staying protected from the crazy rays of the sun. A hat will keep the sun off your head, but better than that, you can pack some ice under there that will melt into blissful streams of chilly heaven that will run down your body keeping you cool in the hot, hot heat.
While most won’t want to “waste” their money by dropping out of the race, you need to listen to your body. The US National Weather Service has some guidelines on what heat/humidity combos make it “too hot to handle.” Tomorrow’s combo of 28C and 85% humidity isn’t considered too dangerous for exercise, but it’s important to stop if you need to stop. There’s no sense in having a heart attack, getting heat stroke, or collapsing on the course. Better to recoup and live to run another day.
Less than seventeen hours to the race! Get a good night’s rest and get ready. Looking forward to Ottawa Race Weekend.