Summer is making its early appearance in SoCal. This weekend, temperatures are expected to reach near the 90s continuing on the following week in the 80s. Running early in the morning is one way to avoid the heat, which I do on my weekend long runs. However, on weekdays I usually run after I drop off my little one at preschool (around 9am). By this time, the temperature is rising. So I needed to come up with heat proof strategies to stay cool and comfortable during my run. Sharing Five with you!
Pre-Cool Before a Run
The average core body temp of an adult is 98.6F (37C). When it’s hot outside, our bodies regulate its core temp through sweating. The hotter it is, the more blood is diverted from the working muscles to the skin for cooling which significantly affects performance. Therefore, it would help if we start out at a lower core temp before heading out. Simply drinking water with ice can do the trick. I step it up a notch by adding a Nuun Hydration tablet to optimize fluid absorption. However, it’s actually better to have a ‘slushy’ drink which I haven’t tried yet but plan to do on my next hot run!
My usual running ensemble includes a hat and sunglasses to protect my scalp, face, and eyes. And it’s a no-brainer that every time we head out for a run, we should always wear sunscreen. But how do you choose your sunscreen with endless options out there – lotions, powders, sprays, SPF level, waterproof, sweat proof, hypoallergenic and the list goes on. I was recently introduced to Reviews.com – “started in 2013 by a small group of obsessive consumers with a passion for the truth, and the desire to find the best.” Kayla of Reviews.com pointed out several misconceptions about sunscreens based on their research. “Such as, did you know that anything higher or lower than SPF 30 isn’t actually effective? And that you should forget spray and powder sunscreens? And regardless of how good the sunscreen is, you really do have to reapply every 1-2 hours to be fully protected.” After evaluating 135 different sunscreens, Reviews.com narrowed it down to four options. What I liked the best about the review was they left out the ones with harmful ingredients.
Here are their top picks:
Best Overall: Alba Botanica Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Best for Sensitive Skin: Badger Lavender Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
Runners Up: MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 and Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream SPF 35
To see the full review and how they came up with their top picks, check out http://www.reviews.com/sunscreen/
Frozen Wet Wipes
I pack frozen wet wipes in a ziploc bag inside the pocket of my water bottle. I’ve tested it twice and was effective in cooling off my skin with a few wipe downs. What also worked was re-wetting the wipe at a water fountain and placing it on my head under my hat. I didn’t realize it was sticking out of my cap until I saw the selfie I took. No wonder why the couple I passed on the trail had odd look on their faces.
Another no-brainer for hot weather is to hydrate properly. And I finally had the chance to try the newly-released
Nuun Performance on my long run last weekend. I selected the orange-mango because I like tropical flavors and it actually reminded me of a lighter version of a mango drink I had growing up in the Philippines. I don’t carry additional fuel for runs less than 2 hours. While Nuun Performance’s purpose is optimal fluid absorption, I felt the small amount of carbs powered me through my run.
Insulated bag with cold recovery drink
I learned from Dr. Stacy Sims at the Nuun seminar I attended a few weeks ago that the best type of recovery food is nonfat Greek yogurt. According to Dr. Sim’s, women’s recovery needs differ from men’s and they require more protein (2:1 ratio) for recovery within 30min of the workout (Currently reading Dr. Sim’s book, ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life.) Greek yogurt has the appropriate carb:protein ratio plus all the essential minerals – potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium our body needs. A cold Chobani Greek Yogurt drink packed in an insulated bag with ice packs was waiting for me at the end of my run and it hit the right spot!! It cooled me down and didn’t bother my stomach at all. Usually, I am starving by the time I get home from a long run because I’ve been delinquent with taking any type of recovery food. I figured I can just eat real food once I’m home (more than 30min later!). This made a big difference in the way I felt for the rest of the day – more energy for my kids!
Do you have other strategies to share that I can try? How do you select your sunscreen? What is your go-to recovery food/drink and do you take it within 30min of your workout?
Linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday Five 2.0. Thanks for hosting!