We’ve covered more than a few events already this summer and many of them have had the same theme—heat! While there may be some cooler stretches now and then, there will be hot weather as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the warmer weather:
1. Slow down. Running generates heat. The higher the temperature, the harder it is for the body to cool down. One estimate suggests that every five-degree rise in temperature above 60°F can slow pace 20-30 seconds per mile, and in marathoners the pace can slow about three percent for every 10 degree rise above 50°F.
2. Cool down. Run for 1-2 miles (or up to 15 minutes), hose off or jump in a pool for a few minutes—then do it again. Or intersperse walking and running—the higher the temperature, the more walking.
3. Run in the AM or PM. If possible run at the cooler times of day—early morning (preferable) or in the evening.
4. Dress right. Light colored, tech fabrics keep you cooler by not absorbing as much heat and helping wick away sweat. A visor will shade your face while letting more heat escape (guys—watch the dome!).
Also, don’t forget sunscreen. Even on cloudy days UVA and UVB rays will get through. Use SPF 50 and reapply every two hours.
The sports medicine physicians at Metro Health Sports Medicine are experts on these issues and many more. We have offices in Allendale, Caledonia, Cascade and Wyoming, and you can find out more at www.metrohealth.net , or by calling 252-7778. As team physicians for the Griffins, Drive, Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College and Calvin College (among others) as well as events such as the Fifth Third River Bank Run and the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, we have the experience and expertise to work with athletes of all ages. We will also be present at many event expos and training runs, as well as our weekly Injury Wise clinic at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids every Wednesday night from 6-8 PM. These are brief first-come encounters for active individuals of all ages and sports—contact Gazelle for more information.