University of Alabama in Huntsville cross country runners battling the heat

They said staying hydrated is key to beating the heat.

Posted: Sep 30, 2019 7:17 PM

It's the middle of cross country season and runners are taking on a big opponent, the heat.

"I feel like I went swimming after I run sometimes," Auburn Cohan, a cross country runner for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said.

Cohan, a senior, says even though she's been running cross country since her freshman year of high school, she still has to monitor her vitals on hot days. She's even seen the effects of the heat on other runners during cross country meets.

"There's like runners that are passing out from the heat," Cohan said.

UAH's track and cross country coach, David Cain, said he tries to have the team practice at least three times a week so their bodies get acclimated to it.

"Our regional championship is in Florida every year, and if we don't run in the heat some, we'll go down there and we'll suffer, so we've got to do our best just to kind of stay used to it," Cain said.

"You just have to be more mentally tough to run in the heat and just make sure we're drinking a lot of water, staying hydrated," a UAH cross country runner, Kaylee Stewart, said.

Cain says he also monitors the weather before he sets up practice times. They do harder workouts early in the morning so that they can finish before it gets too hot.

If they're practicing in the middle of the day, they can do it in cooler, more shaded areas, like Monte Sano Park. He said they always have water and ice on hand in case runners start getting heat exhaustion.

"If they do get a little overheated, they can make a bag of ice and put that on their neck or whatever and always have water at practice for them to get a drink if they need it," Cain said.

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