As Sunday's Dallas Marathon approaches, here are some tips for running in what is forecast to be unseasonably warm weather:
- Make sure you're drinking plenty of water in the days leading up to the race.
- Do a urine check - if it's light yellow (like lemonade) you know that you are well hydrated.
- Don't drink too much during the race.
- When it's hot, some runners get so concerned about avoiding dehydration that they drink constantly.
- Drinking too much water can lead to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia, or low blood sodium concentration.
- Drink when your mouth is dry and you feel thirsty, or no more than 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes.
- Scale back your race goals.
- Pushing too hard despite the heat is one of the biggest causes of heat-related illnesses.
- Get extra salt.
- Eat some salty foods, like pretzels, or sprinkle some salt on your food, in the days leading up to your race.
- Wet down your head and upper body.
- If you're overheating, splash water on your head and body to cool down quickly.
- Be careful about getting too wet, because soaked clothes can be heavy and wet socks can lead to foot blisters.
- Seek help if you don't feel right.
- If you're feeling symptoms of a heat-related illness — such as lightheadedness, goosebumps, nausea, chills — stop at a medical station along the race course or at the finish line.
- Don't try to be tough and think you should just keep pushing through it.