Monday, July 2, 2018

How I Handle Running in the Heat

Summer running is in full swing.  There are a lot of people who share about avoiding the heat while you're running but sometimes the heat is unavoidable. Sometimes you just can't get the workout in before your day starts or you don't have the option run inside on the treadmill (who wants to anyway when it so nice out?)... so how do you survive running in the heat? This is something I used to do all the time. Summer running was my favorite and the heat didn't really ever bother me (now I try to go earlier in the day so it's not so hot) and I want to share a few ways that I was able to get through those hot runs every summer.



Running in the heat is doable when you look for as much shade as possible. This is one way that I handle running in the summer heat. The shade is usually about 10-15 degrees cooler than in the sun, so running in the shade takes the edge off a little. It doesn't always make your run super comfortable, but it does help it feel a little cooler, plus you won't have to worry as much about sunburn.  Even if it's just changing which side of the road you're on, always try to find the shadier side and run there.



Preparing for your run by hydrating before is another really great way to help you get through the summer runs.  This isn't something that I'm really great at, but when I know my run is going to be a hot one, I do pay attention to how much water I'm taking in.  Being well hydrated before means that your body will have more energy to keep you going during your hot run.  It can be hard to stay hydrated during your long run, especially in the summertime, but that's important too.  There are a lot of ways you can make sure to stay hydrated while running in the heat but they all take a little effort and planning.
You can take a camelback with you and take sips whenever you need. This is something that I don't do because I feel like carrying the water, having that extra weight, and taking the chance that the backpack will chafe my back or arms is not something I want to deal with. But it's definitely a good option and I have considered it several times. 
If you know your running route in advance you can go hide water bottles around your route so that they are there for you when you get to certain places in your run. This is again something I don't do personally but I know a lot of runners who do! I'd suggest putting the water bottles somewhere near a trash can so that when you're done with it you can easily get rid of it without littering.
The last option is to plan your run in advance so that you are hitting some drinking fountains at some point in your run. This is one that I do frequently. I don't have to worry about carrying water or finding a trash can for a bottle or taking the chance that someone will pick my water up before I get to it. I just have to take some time before my run to plan around some drinking fountains.



When you are running in the summer, chances are you're going to run past a sprinkler to two. If the sprinkler isn't too far onto the lawn and I can easily get to it, I always run through it. Getting yourself a little wet with cool water helps your body temperature come down and cools you off a little extra while you're running. I'm sure people think I look funny doing so but, you know what, it cools me right off ha! And while your running in the heat anything you can do to cool of its ok.


Summer running is one of my favorite things, and as long as you're prepared right for it, it doesn't have to be something to dread.  Make sure you're dressed properly (you wouldn't wear long pants or sleeves for a summer run), put some sunscreen on. I'd wear a hat to help shade my face if I could fit in one, put some sunglasses on and make sure you're hydrated. It can be just as fun to run in the sun and heat as any other time of year.

What is your favorite temperature to run in?

How do you make sure you hydrate well for summer running?

Do you ever run through sprinklers while running?

18 comments:

  1. I am currently not doing any running but I do play sand volleyball for two hours on Sunday nights. Hydration is the biggest issue for me, gotta stay hydrated in this crazy heat!

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    1. I really struggle to remember to drink through out the day too!

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  2. Today is the picture perfect day in Chicago. It's 78, low humidity and sunny. This is my favorite kind of running weather. It's been very rare this summer!

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    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy your run today and that you get more days like this soon!

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  3. It has been tough going for me the past few weeks w the heat. I am trying to do all of the above and adapt

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    1. I feel like I'm taking a lot longer to adapt this year than ever before

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    2. The comment button isn't showing up for me, but it's letting me do a reply so I'll just leave it here! lol. It's very hot and humid here in NC, too. I don't do well in the heat, so I need to get out there around sunrise. Happy 4th!

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  4. It's 100 today. I want to run but I may just skip it. We'll see. I don't usually carry water but today I will.

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  5. I love summer running! You listed all great tips, but I also tell people to be realistic in their goals. The summer is hot, and the humidity makes it tough to breathe properly. Accept that the conditions will be more challenging and don't expect to run as fast as you would in cooler weather. Trying to run like you would in more desirable temps will only foster frustration. Embrace the heat, but respect it. ;-)

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    1. Great point! It's always best to realize your goals need to be adaptable to the conditions. Thanks for reading!

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  6. I prefer to run in the Fall/Winter, but when I have to run in the heat I always being water. To keep it cool I'll freeze half of it so that the water stays colder longer.

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    1. I like fall running but HATE winter! Great idea with the water. Have a fantastic day!

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  7. my favorite time of year to run in is the fall - especially here, the temps are just pleasant and as long as it's not raining it's perfect to run in. I ALWAYS pre-hydrate and drink extra if it's very hot out. I take my hydration pack pretty much everywhere (on the long runs).

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  8. My perfect temperature is in the 50s! I mostly try to run early and drink a lot of Nuun as I go.

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  9. I like to run when it is hot but this weather is a bit much. I stay hydrated by bringing my Nathan Hydration pack on every run.

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  10. I'm trying hard to embrace summer running - getting out early and hydrating are key for me. My ideal temps are in the upper 40s and 50s.

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  11. I'm a slow runner, so I think I tolerate the hot runs better than a lot of people. Still, I incorporate most of the things you mentioned above--especially about hydrating. I carry a 1 liter bottle of water with me when I run. It can be cumbersome, but that way I assure I will stay hydrated. My favorite temperature to run in is sunny, low humidity, and upper 70s.

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  12. Staying hydrated is so incredibly important. During the summer I always have water with me, whether in a handheld bottle or in a hydration vest. Although I am prone to some chafing with the vest, I’ve found that putting some KT take on my back really helps with the troublesome spots.

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