According to our very scientific Instagram story question last week, most of you would rather run in cold than heat. So what do you do when temps creep into the 80s, 90s, even 100s? Yes, you could hit up a treadmill or a local gym or running studio (we are loving Shred 415 Sawmill lately) – or some of you may even be tempted to skip it all together. Don’t skip your run! Running outside in the summer is still a doable task! Below are some tips – mostly common sense, but maybe you need a reminder – on how to beat the heat of summer and still lace up those shoes for an outdoor run!
1. SLOW down. If the temps are scorching, don’t worry about pace and take rest or walk breaks – or maybe even some #stopdropandyoga breaks – as needed. I’m typically a 9ish minute conversational pace runner, but when the sun is beating down and the humidity is creeping up, I’ll slow down and be a 10ish minute pace with no shame. It’s ok to postpone your speed work when the thermometer is registering 95 degrees!
2. Hydrate. Duh! But seriously, in colder temps you likely don’t bring water on your run (unless you’re marathon training), but perhaps you need some mid-run liquids in hotter weather. Design a route that goes by a local park with a water fountain, bring along a water bottle or invest in a hydration belt. Check out some favs by Runner’s World. Water is great, but an electrolyte replenisher would work wonders if you’re doing a long run. If temps are unbearable, you could even give yourself a quick water break every mile or hey, even more often! Last week in Florida, I turned a 5 mile run into 10 x 800s to give myself a hydration (and mental) break every 1/2 mile!
3. Dress like you’re HOT! Because you are!
- This should be a no-brainer, but wearing shorts or a running skirt can really cool you down. I don’t typically do shorts, (due to, uh-hum, chafing issues) but when the real feel is 103 in the humidity of Florida, I’ll make an exception & lather up with some Body Glide! 🙂
- Wearing a running hat can keep the sun out of your eyes, as well as keeping your head cool. According to On-running.com, “By design, a running hat draws perspiration away from the head helping keep you cool through evaporating sweat. At the same time, the best running hats also let air in through their fabric to further cool a runner down and provide a level of breathability for the head.” Bonus, find a cute one & you’ll be stylin’ too!
- This won’t help with heat… but be sure to lather up with a sweat-friendly sunscreen! Your skin with thank you.
4. Location, location, location. Plan a route that has shade, water stops and if you’re lucky, perhaps even a coastal breeze. There are some trails here in Cbus that are much shadier than others, for instance, I tend to avoid the Heritage Trail in Hilliard and stay on bike paths in Dublin that provide more shade.
5. Go early or late & avoid mid-day heat. I’m NOT a morning person, but I’ll do AM workouts when needed as you definitely get better temps by getting it done early. Today there was a 15 degree difference b/w early morning and mid afternoon! Sunset is also an amazing time to not only get some cooler temps, but see some amazing views.
Well, those are five tips for staying cool on your summer runs. Hope you keep logging those miles and hope to see you on the trails (or maybe the beach!)