Sam Sykes—Running in the summer can leave you feeling hot hot hot! Here are some tried and true tips for keeping your cool while training your asana off in the (abnormally hot) summer heat.
1. Dress to Sweat
Light colors, wicking technical fabrics and longer, looser-fitting run gear is key to helping you keep your cool. Fun fact–some run gear even has a UPF rating to help protect you from the sun!
2. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
On training days, make sure you’re taking in extra fluids before, during and after to keep from getting thirsty and dehydrated.
3. Speaking of Hydration…
When mapping your next run adventure, incorporate routes with water fountains. Runner’s tip: Sometimes I stash water bottles for pickup along the way!
4. If You’re Racing Outside, Train Outside
Spending all of your time inside air-conditioned gyms won’t help you run well on a hot and sweaty race day. If you want to run well in the heat, you have to train in it by gradually exposing yourself over time. Editor’s note: Sometimes it’s simply too hot to run outdoors, so don’t be afraid to mix it up.
5. Avoid Running During the Hottest Part of the Day
Dodge the crowds and the scorching heat! Get up with the sun or wait until the evenings to dominate your run – and don’t forget your reflective gear!
6. Watch Your Pace
A pace that is normally a piece of cake can be tough slugging when the mercury soars. Leave the Garmin at home and run by feel. If it feels hard, slow it down. Let your body self-select the pace.
7. Listen to Your Body
When the going gets sweaty and tough, take a walk break (try some run/walk intervals) or hit a Savasana. Know when to push through a mentally tough part of your run and know when to pack it in.
8. Keep it Short and Sweet in the Heat
Be strategic by doing your long runs on cooler days and during cooler times. Keeping it short and sweet on the hot days does the body good.
9. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
A racerback tan line is basically a runner’s badge of honor, but sunburns just aren’t cool. Wear sunscreen – ‘nuff said.
10. To Wear a Hat or Not to Wear a Hat?
Hats can be great for shading your face and keeping the sun out of your eyes but if it’s not properly ventilated it’ll just trap in all your body heat. Leave your Yankees cap at home (they’ll be okay) and sport a made-to-run-in hat or visor.
11. Find the Coolest (Literally) Places to Run
Wooded trails, the shady side of the street or through the nearest sprinkler!
12. Friends that Run in the Heat Together, Beat the Heat Together
Run with a friend or in a run group – you’ll watch their back and they’ll watch yours!
13. Dive in or Hit the Mat
If running just seems like it ain’t gunna happen one day, try a yoga class or dive into the pool for some laps. You’ll still benefit from all the strength and cardio training!
13.1 When in Doubt–Don’t Run!
Let’s get serious - there have been some extremely hot days. Know when to pass and enjoy your day off with a pint of ice cream and the Hey Runner Girl blog.