Beat the heat
By Deena C. Bouknight
Just because summer months are the most arduous in Columbia – temperature wise – does not mean runners must resign running shoes to a box under the bed. Although mild weather in fall, winter, and spring is ideal, summer can have its rewards. The key is to run smartly.
These are some basic tips:
– Avoid, if possible, the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
– Wear light, loose clothing to reflect heat and allow for sweat evaporation.
– Wear a sunscreen with 45 SPF or higher.
– Stay hydrated; a few glasses of water before running is advised and then carry a bottle or wear a hydration pack and sip at least every 15-20 minutes.
– Make sure electrolyte and salt intake is replenished.
– Run on shaded trails if possible.
– Check weather advisories to learn if there are any particular issues regarding air pollution or excessively high humidity, for example.
– Pay attention to any dizziness, faintness, or nausea during and after running. Consult a physician if it continues after hydration and replenishment of electrolytes and salt.
If there are any respiratory or heart conditions, or if medications are taken, consult a physician to learn if summer running is a good idea.
Run With Others
If the summer heat wave de-motivates, there are running groups to encourage. Local ones include:
– Columbia Running Club
– Females in Action
– F3 Midlands (guys only)
– Fleet Feet Running
– Team Utopia South
– Strictly Running
Check out running sites to learn of any summer events that will truly inspire. For example, Strictly Running hosts its Hot Summer Night 5K August 4th at 7 p.m. and offers to runners all kinds of summer fresh fruit for refreshment.
Visit mapmyrun.com for a host of running paths – including the distance for each. Everything from a mile to 15 miles is routed. Two most popular paths are the Riverwalk and Timmerman Trail. The main entrance to the Cayce / West Columbia Riverwalk is located at the intersection of Axtell Drive and Naples Avenue. You can also access the park at the intersection of State Street and Lucas Street. It meanders on stable footing for 8 miles in one direction and runs from Gervais Street to Knox Abbott Drive. There is also access at Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, just off Huger Street. The Timmerman Trail, a little over 6 miles, can be accessed from the 12th Street Extension at SCANA Parkway or after the Cayce Tennis Center at the 12,000 Year History Trailhead. Timmerman Trail is well maintained, has plenty of shade, and much of it is located next to streams, creeks, and swamps.