The ABC’s on Safe and Fun Running this Summer

My mantra for Summer running have always been to run at the sun lowest points of the day, which can be either at dawn or dusk or thereabouts. So many of us get disenchanted when summer comes knocking with its sweltering, humid days but it would be a shame to pack it in and give up on all that spring momentum we have going to a seasonal shift that will soon pass. In fact, given all that we have been through with the preceding cold of a long winter, we should strive to make the best of all this sunshine and try not to complain too loudly of the heat.

With that in mind, I figure we could all benefit from a few tips on taking on this challenge in a safe and enjoyable way.

  •  As noted above, stick to early mornings or night runs; that way you not only avoid the heat and damaging effects of the sun, but you get to enjoy the coolest, quietest and often most picturesque part of the day. I promise there’s nothing quite like running to the tune of a breathtaking sunrise or sunset, it restores your sense of awe and belief in God and His creation. 
  • Discover new trails and the fun of trail running. It’s a favorite of mine, which sadly, I don’t get to do enough of. Trail running adds the benefit of running in the shade and at more convienient times amidst nature. It also challenges your fitness level while adding variety to your runs. Gear up with proper running shoes and get ready to blaze a trail like you won’t believe.
  • We can never be reminded enough in summer time to hydrate daily. This is the one thing that many of us take for granted and it really is that serious. More than eight glasses a day, we should all make a small investment in a “fancy schamcy” water bottle that becomes an appendage of sorts and never leave home without it. Proper hydration will power your runs and safeguard you against heatstroke and other assosiated ills that runners are prone to.
  • Nothing says I’m ready to run like new gear. Around now is a good time to beat out a summer tune to the steps of new running shoes and some fun active wear, and there’re a lot of variety in styles, brand and colors at competitive prices. Gear up and you’ll find you’re actually looking forward to hitting Sumner streets to make that active statement.
  • Lather and Layer up. This sort of sun (90°+) calls for all guns blazing when it comes to sunscreen, putting it on should come second only to what you wear. Being smart and safe demands a sunscreen of at least SPF 70 on exposed areas while running in direct sunlight and even when it’s humid and overcast if you plan on a prolonged run. It is also wise to cover up as much as you can. Where possible, use proper breathable, thin material to shade the the sun from direct contact with your skin and use hats and polorized sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. While beautiful and thoroughly appreciated, the sun can do serious damage to your skin.
  • Another aspect of safety deals with running in numbers when at all possible. Whether in company with other runners or just ensuring that the area you’re running in is populated and well lit is just plain smart. Running with music can also render one incapable of keeping a presence of mind so take care to either eliminate it entirely when the running environment seems a bit iffy or stay focused and present.
  • Keep a charged phone, metro card ( or ticket for bus/train) and emergency money with you on all runs. Most active wear now come with enclosed zippers/pockets to stash stuff such as these. Make your money work for you when shopping to get more for you dollar.
  • New technology has its advantages for night running. There is now active wear with reflective technology that glimmers and glows in the dark and even those with LEDs. This is another good investment to make for night running.

Hope this helps in setting you up for your best Sumner running experience yet. Keep it fun, safe and running!

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