We want you to be safe while running! And all the time. Please see all the safety and health that we encourage this season.
General safe running recommendations:
Running with a group, a buddy and/or running within sight of another runner
-We have three group workouts a week! Run with teammates and friends so you are not alone
Run with an emergency number one you--someone you can call if you need help
-Also consider getting a RoadID, identification you can wear on your wrist or shoe.
Be aware of your surroundings
-Run in well-let areas
-Tell someone when you are going out for a run, when you are going, and when to expect you back
-Plan your route and don't advertise it
Running in the Summer Heat
It's brutal out there! Running in the Houston summer is quite an experience, but you can take care of yourself, and reduce your risk of problems, by doing the following:
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
So nice we say it thrice! Drink water before, during and after your runs. Before: take water 30-60 minutes before your run. During: sip on your water bottle every mile, or run by a water fountain every few miles. After: drink up! You can also use a sports drink/electrolyte replacement drink (Gatorade, Nuun, etc.)
Consider carrying a water bottle on your runs. There are hand-helds, water belts and camel backs. Check the Nutrition & Hydration Tips section of our Training Tips page for more info on water bottles. Also, the night before you run, fill your water bottle about half-way and lay it at an angle in the freezer; just before you head out for your run, top it off with more water. Your water will stay cold for a while!
Slow it down / Walking is fine
Feeling slow and sluggish? It's not you, it's the heat! Exercising in heat and humidity can be tough and impact your performance. You may not be able to run as fast or as far as you usually do. Don't sweat it! Slow down your pace, and take walk breaks.
Focus on effort, not necessarily pace or distance
Ever finish a run thinking, "Wow, I just ran 3 miles but I feel like I ran 10 miles!" Yes, it's a thing when running in the heat and humidity. Don't despair if you are not on your regular min-per-minute pace in the summer heat. That's OK! Feel good about the effort your put forth rather than trying to maintain a specific pace or achieving a certain number of miles. Quality over quantify is a perfectly fine measurement.
Run before or after the sun is out
You need to find the time that works for your schedule, but consider running before the sun is out (early morning, day break) or after the sun is down (early evening). It's simply a bit easier to run without sun. During the season, our Saturday group runs start early (around 6:00 AM) so consider setting your alarm and running early this summer.
Change your clothes and bring a change of clothes
Wear workout clothes made of wicking material for your runs--they should wick the sweat from your body. Avoid cotton clothing, as cotton tends to retain sweat and moisture.
If you're running away from home, bring a towel to wipe yourself down, and a change of clothes for after your run. Driving home in wet clothes is very uncomfortable; and getting out of those running clothes will help you cool down (and keep you from sweating all over your car).
Post-run self care
Eat something after your run--please! The heat really sucks the energy out of you, and replenishing those lost calories and fluids is key. Bring a granola bar, piece of fruit, or some snack to have within 30 minutes of finishing your run.
Check our Training Tips page for more advice on running and our season.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
Other health impacts to be aware of are heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and heart attacks. More info will come on both of these, but please familiarize yourself with the warning signs of each.
Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke
About - https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html and https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250
Graphics - https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-illness
About - https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_attack.htm and https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/symptoms-causes/syc-20373106 and https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/warning-signs-of-a-heart-attack
Precautions that work to keep us all safe and healthy
If you are feeling ill, we encourage you to look after your health because running sick is miserable and could potentially get worse as you run down your immune system. So, while your group will miss you, skip the run and get better so you can get back to your team sooner.
In every season, runners should keep safe by doing the following:
-Run within sight of a coach, assistant coach or group leader, if possible
-Know the route; consider carrying a printout or map on y our phone of the route with you on your runs. Do not rely on others to know the route
-Run with ID of some kind (driver's license, RoadID, etc.)
-Yell out clearly “Passing on your left” when you need to pass someone, and give the other runner(s) space when passing.
-Always pass on the left, even if you are in a group that wants to pass. Avoid “swarming”, or passing on both the left and the right
-Watch for road hazards and call them out (Hole! Curb! Runner up! Car back!)
-Watch for cars and other road traffic. Assume drivers don't see you (most likely they don't). Cross with traffic lights and stop at intersections. - -When running on the road, run on the left facing oncoming traffic.
-Talk to your primary care physician before starting training for an endurance race