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How to Avoid overheating while Running

Avoid Overheating when Hot Weather Running

How to Avoid overheating while Running


Heat is the top offender of all the risks faced by runners and marathoners. It can cause two major conditions that negatively affect a person’s performance: overheating and dehydration.


Overheating happens when the body can no longer keep up with the needs of evaporation of water from the skin. The body tends to experience an inadequate cooling, and this will be the time when you start to experience overheating. When you run, the body normally heats up internally. You start to sweat and your body will send more blood to the skin where it is cooled. The blood comes in contact with a relatively cooler skin.

However, while you keep on running, your body will start to demand more oxygen to the muscles which can result to lesser blood flowing to your skin. This is the time overheating happens. If you are unaware of and continue to run at a certain speed, a tug-of-war will happen within your body. To keep up with the speed demand, the blood goes to your muscles or to your skin for cooling; thus, overheating happens. Sooner, there will be less blood going to your working muscles and you will be forced to slow down.



When you lose too much fluid from the body through sweat, you will experience dehydration. Sweating drains water and electrolytes from your body. By drinking a sports drink containing electrolytes and water, you are able to replace the water and electrolytes used up in your body. Remember that running in the heat worsens both overheating and dehydration. Always be conscious and aware of your body.


Safety Measures Applicable When Running in the Heat

  • To get used to running in warmer conditions, you have to do consistent running for about two weeks.
  • Feeling thirsty doesn’t mean that you’re dehydrated. It just indicates that you are already low on fluids. An elevated heart rate while running and dark, golden-colored urine after running are signs of dehydration. Drink plenty of water until your urine is clear.
  • Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes of running.
  • Check your weight before and after running. For every pound of weight you lose, drink 16 ounces of water. However, this procedure should not be used as a method for weight loss.
  • Apply a non-drip sunscreen with at least SP15.
  • Wear a cap with visor and sunglasses which can filter UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear micro-fiber clothing with a light color.
  • Run when the sun is not so high. It would be preferable to run in the morning to avoid the heat. The ozone levels increase soon after dawn, making the air quality in the morning better. Avoid running anytime between noon till 3 pm.
  • Drink tomato juice or eat salty foods like pretzels.
  • Learn to check the Heat Index Chart to be aware of the air temperature with the relative humidity. By doing so, you will determine the temperature and see if there could be a risk of having a heat-related illness.


Indicators of Having Heat-Related Illness

Heat Cramps

The loss of electrolytes and accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles are the main causes for this condition. When you experience heat cramps, you will feel spasms or muscle cramps and sweating. To treat this condition, you have to drink water or sports drink. Slow down in your running and massage the affected area.


Heat Exhaustion

This is caused by intense exercise in a hot, humid condition and loss of electrolytes. Indicators of having heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, light-headedness, slightly elevated body temperature, possible drop in blood pressure, possible fainting and decreased coordination.


Heat Stroke

Causes of this illness are dehydration, wearing heavy clothing, older age, obesity, humid condition, intense exercise in a hot and humid condition, running in the heat when you have fever or infection, beta blockers, poor acclimatization, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and certain drugs like amphetamines and diuretics.

Signs of heat strokes include dry and red skin, altered consciousness and high body temperature of 106 or even higher. When you’re starting to feel the signs, you need to call for an Emergency Medical Service. Try to rest in a cool place and remove your clothing to expose your skin to air. Then you should apply ice or cool water to the groin, neck, and underarms.