Growing up in Dubai I learned from a young age that running in the summer is almost always a challenge. Nevertheless, I decided to run my first full marathon last year. While I consider myself an experienced runner (I have been running for a couple of years now) distance running was not my area of expertise – which meant I had to figure out how to train outside in the heat in the time leading up to the event.
Running has plenty of health benefits, from improving overall physical stamina and strength, to reducing anxiety and stress levels. And the great thing about training in Dubai is that is has a wonderful sports infrastructure, made up of both outdoor and indoor facilities.
Some of my favorite running tracks in Dubai include Kite Beach, the Dubai Canal, and Al Qudra Track.
So whether you’re training for a marathon or just going for the odd jog to improve your overall health, here are a few tips on how to run in the heat during the hotter months of the year.
Duration Over Distance
Keep running duration to an hour or less and pace yourself. Keep track of how much time you’re running, instead of focusing on the distance – and make sure you keep an eye on your heart rate at all times.
Fitbit Versa 2 NFC Petal/Copper Rose Aluminum Smart Watch, Dhs899, Virginmegastore.com
Timing Is Everything
Early morning and evening runs are always recommended, as the temperature will be cooler during dawn and dusk. Avoid running outside in the afternoon when the temperature is at its highest.
It’s absolutely fine to run indoors whenever possible. There are some great gyms in Dubai equipped with the best treadmills. Training indoors during the summer – especially during daytime hours – is almost always preferable and will ensure you avoid overheating or feeling faint when running.
During the summer – especially when it’s humid outside – make sure you hydrate throughout the day. Bring a bottle of water with you during runs outside and take small sips of water every 1.5 kilometers or so when training.
Purist Cycling Water Bottle (26 oz), Dhs52, Lululemon.com
What You Wear Matters
It is best to wear light layers and comfortable clothes that are sweat proof, and don’t forget the sun block. But just because you’re training outside doesn’t mean you can’t dress up! I never leave home for a run without my Lululemon cap and fast and free pants.
Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 28" Reflective, Dhs433, Lululemon.com
Be Sure To Enjoy Yourself
Don’t forget to have fun! Running is a great way to explore the city, so grab a friend and go out for a jog around the city’s running tracks. And if you’re planning on running solo, a good running playlist can make running way more enjoyable as well.
Lead image courtesy of Jason Lloyd-Evans