Running in the heat can be a real challenge. The sun is beating down on you, the humidity makes your lungs hurt. But, if you are like me you don’t like running inside on the treadmill. The heat can be brutal, however, there are ways to make running in the summertime more manageable
Proper hydration is the number one way to set yourself up for success when you run in the summer months. It is important to maintain adequate hydration prior to running in the summer heat. Once you become dehydrated you are already behind. It is also important to hydrate before, during as well as after your run. For my longer runs I will bring a hydration pack with me. The preference for hydration packs stems from my dislike of running with anything in my hands, I prefer hands free options always. my favorite hydration pack is this one from Osprey!
Do you ever sweat so much that when it dries you feel like you are coated in a layer of salt? This is because when you sweat you loose important electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. If you have good kidneys they work to maintain adequate electrolyte levels by reabsorbing the salt, potassium, etc. before being lost in your urine. However, when you sweat your body is unable to keep up, combine that with drinking straight water and your electrolyte levels will decrease even more. The best way to combat this is with electrolyte drinks and mixes. My personal favorite is Nuun Hydration Tablets. I like this one because it is not too sweet, comes in a variety of flavors, is made out of all natural ingredients and is easy to stow in your gym bag; no messy powders! Just drop in your water and go!
3. Cooling Clothing:
Cool, breathable clothing is a must with summer running. Pick something that is lighter in color and has a wicking fabric to help keep the sweat off your skin. I like something with a little flow to it so that it allows air flow next to your skin. This summer I have taken a liking to running in crop tops or a sports bra. It took me a while before I felt confident enough to run with my midsection exposed. But, the benefit of staying cooler during runs is worth it!
4. Run when it’s Cooler:
Running in the morning before the sun heats up the air and ground is a good way to make summer running more manageable. If you are like me though and have trouble running in the morning you can also try running later in the day when the sun is setting. The air can still be hot at this time, so be mindful of that, but without the sun shining on you it is more manageable.
5. Slow Down Your Runs
When running in the summer don’t be hard on yourself when you do not feel as fast as your normally do. In fact, as the temperature goes up, you pace should slow down and adjust accordingly.
6. Cooling Towels!
Cooling towels are wonderful in the hotter summer months. Use it to help cool you off after your run, or take it with you on your run! I take mine with my on my run and tuck it into my sports bra to help cool me off while I run. My favorite brand is the the Dr. Cools Therapy Wrap. This brand does not use chemicals in their material; which I love because I always try to avoid chemicals against my skin. All you need to do is wet the towel, give it a snap and it cools down!
When running in the summer months it is important to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays! These harmful rays are damaging to your skin. Even on overcast days it is important to protect your skin. Pick an SPF 30 or greater for optimal protection.
8. Run Indoors
This is my last resort. If it is brutally hot outside and you miss the cooler time of the day to run then it is best to just take the run inside. Now I understand the dreadmill is boring; but, it is better to have a quality run on the treadmill then a lethargic run in the brutal heat that leaves you feeling sick. Again this is when it is important to listen to your body, some people can handle hotter weather better then others. So the cutoff is different for everyone. If you find running in the heat really makes you feel lethargic and sick on your runs then it is time to take it inside. Set yourself up for success and have a quality run inside!
Hope you enjoyed the tips! Now go and have a great run!!
DISCLAIMER- The content of this website is for general information purposes only. I am not a license professional, nor an expert on running/physical fitness. Therefore, any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. I encourage you to refer to a doctor for advice regarding specific needs for you and your body. I post what works for me and I hope that you find these tips helpful!