How to Not Get Too Hot When Running
Getting overheated during a summer run can be a real mood killer and can certainly interrupt progress towards goal achievement. When our body temperature gets elevated, our central nervous system tells our body to reduce our motor output and if we get too hot it tells our body to SHUT IT DOWN! Although this may suck when you are in the middle of a sprint workout, your body is simply trying to protect itself by avoiding getting actual heat exhaustion or other heat-related illness.
Over the years people have tried tons of different methods for getting themselves cooled off during hot workouts. I have seen ice water dumped over heads, heads dunked into coolers of ice water, ice stuffed into bras and hats, and various cooling gear worn. Different things might work for different people, and honestly, the placebo effect definitely occurs for some people. Simply believing that dunking your head into cool water will help your overall body temperature to be lowered might convince you to continue your workout at max effort because you have the sensation of being cooled off, even if temporary. Most of us have quirky things that we believe help our performance, which might work for us but not for others.
So… What Really Works?
Many people want to know what ACTUALLY works, so scientists have tried to figure it out. Researchers have tested out different cooling strategies that can be used to minimize the impact of heat on a runner’s performance. Different cooling methods are meant to be implemented at different times, either before or during the exercise. The purpose of precooling (before exercise) is to get the body’s thermal state lowered, which is determined by the temperature of the body’s core and skin in various places.
One way you can “precool” before a run is to consume an ice slurry, this is simply a mixture of water and ice. This precooling strategy has been proven to lower the body’s core temperature before exercise and does not negatively impact muscle temperature leading to issues with body function (such as an ice bath might do before exercise).
The Benefits of Consuming an Ice Slurry Before Exercise
- The amount of time you are able to run in hot conditions before reaching exhaustion increases.
- The amount of time it takes to run 10-km in the heat decreases compared to if you did not consume the ice slurry before.
- The amount of time you can run before feeling overheated increases.
Don’t let these hot summer days wreck your workouts! I don’t know about you but I am definitely going to try precooling with an ice slurry. Honestly, this information has me thinking of just blending up some type of electrolyte drink with ice to consume right before my workouts on hot days. That seems like it would be twice as effective! It doesn’t take long to do and might save you from some stress, mentally and physically.
- Keeping your cool, Sports medicine ,