Vegan Running: Healthy Training in the Heat

vegan running in the heat

I’m following the PCRM VegRun program and checking in here along the way to share my vegan running experiences.

We had a little cool spell, but overall here in Atlanta it’s been a steamy summer to start training for a half marathon. Luckily, the VegRun page has a lot of vegan running tips on helping your stay hydrated. One tip, from VegRun trainer Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., was to eat more fruit. Fruit not only has fructose to give you energy for your runs, but most fruit is 80 percent water!

Related Reading: Vegan Athletics: The PCRM VegRun Program

That was good news, because I love fruit! I eat an orange or plum every day after lunch and supper, but since I was feeling a little dried out from all that sweating, I’m going to start working even more fruit into my routine by getting back into the green smoothie habit. Yesterday I had a super simple green smoothie when I got home from my 5 mile run:

  • 1 handful of fresh lettuce
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 pieces of frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Perfecto! The fruit helped me get quickly hydrated and energized, and the protein from the soy milk provides that long-tail energy as my body tapped into it all morning long. It was a perfect post-run snack to help me rebound from a sweaty run. If you want more green smoothie recipes, you can find bunches on my personal site or check out my green smoothie e-book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!

Related Reading: Feelgood Fitness: Stretches for Runners

Healthy Training in the Heat

When it’s super hot out, it’s also important that you dress appropriately and stay hydrated you on your run. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful when running in the heat:

  • Bring water with you. Fill your water bottle up all the way with ice cubes, then pour water over the cubes. As that ice melts, you’ll have cold water that stays cold for most of your run. For longer runs, a water belt might feel nerdy, but it can make a big difference. Holding a water bottle for 3-5 miles is no big deal, but holding it for 10 miles is a whole other thing. Trust me
  • Salt your water. Sports drinks are basically bottled sweat. The idea is to replace the electrolytes you lose while you’re running. If you are running for more than 45 minutes or in intense heat, a teensy pinch of salt in your water bottle makes a big difference. You don’t want to even use enough that you can taste it, but I could feel the difference when I forgot to salt my water on longer runs.
  • Dress for success. When you’re going on long runs, moisture-wicking clothing can make a big difference. Natural fibers tend to hold on to water and chafe. Chafing was never an issue for me until I hit around 10-12 mile distances, but after that choosing the right running gear made for a much more comfortable workout.

Are any of you guys doing a vegan running program? I’d love to hear your hot-weather running tips!

Image Credit: Running photo via Shutterstock

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