Despite the temperatures in Dubai reaching nearly 50 degrees over the summer months with incredibly high humidity levels, it’s still possible to train through the summer, you just need to be careful and sensible with how you do it. I have been living in Dubai for 10 years and I mostly run outside during the summer months. It can get quite horrible at times but with some simple adjustments it’s still possible to run and you do adapt to the weather to a certain degree.
Indoor running at the Dubai World Trade Centre
Dubai World Trade Centre has an indoor running track in Dubai Sports World, where there are many other sports and facilities inside including a gym. The track has got shorter this year at only 350m long but with music or a companion to chat to, it isn’t so bad and the cool air inside brings a welcome relief from the outdoor heat. It’s not so easy to do interval training on the track but easy and long runs are ok.
Lower you body temperature before you start running
By lowering your body temperature before you go outside, you can keep going for longer and faster in the heat. Keep cool using the air conditioning, use ice over your head on the pulse points on your wrists. Sip cold drinks and add ice to your cap to keep your head cool. The ice cubes last for about 15 minutes. I tend to do short loops of 20 to 30 minutes then go back inside to grab more ice and cool off slightly. I find it’s possible to complete a run this way at your usual speed and it’s not so uncomfortable. I have done up to 90 minute runs like this and you can also keep longer intervals going better this way.
Concentrate on shorter intervals
You can aim to work on your speed with shorter intervals, maybe focus on training for a 5 km race or if you need to do longer intervals stay close to home, use ice in your cap and go inside to cool off during the recovery part of your session. Up to 10 minute intervals are possible this way so you can still get some decent interval training done during the summer months.
Try hill running sessions
The summer months are a great time to work on your strength with some hill running intervals, even if you’re not going particularly fast because it’s too hot you can still gain strength from running up to the hills. Try 6 x 2 minute intervals up the hill, you can slowly jog back down the hill to recover.
If it’s really unbearable you can always use the treadmill and complete you sessions and runs as you would outside. If you are doing a long run outside you could complete half of it outside and then finish off the rest of the run inside.
Hydrate well before, during and after the run. Try electrolytes and coconut water is also a good, natural, rehydrating drink to try after the run.