As a native Texan, I’m very accustomed to running in hot weather. It’s not uncommon to get well over 100 degrees during the summer months!
One of the questions that I get asked the most often is…
“How do you handle running in the heat?”
I figured it was a good time to answer this since summer is right around the corner…
My run this morning was fairly warm, so I started to think about all of the precautions that I take to during the summer months. I’ve always been in the habit of watching my heart rate, but even moreso during the summer. It’s always quite a bit higher and sometimes I need a reminder to slow down a little bit.
My number one tip: Exercise early in the morning or after the sun sets. I despise running at night, so I wake up at the butt crack of dawn. On my part, this often requires some pre-planning. Since it’s still dark when I run in the morning, I make sure that I stick to familiar routes and I wear bright colors. I actually do have a reflective vest, but I never wear it.
- Check the weather forecast: If it’s going to be really hot later in the week, try and get your harder workouts done on a cooler day. Sometimes you need to be flexible.
- Run in the shade!
- Rain is your new friend: I hate running in the rain when it’s cold, but I like it in the summer. Since I rarely run with my iPod anymore, I don’t have to worry about keeping it dry. If you do, put it in a zip lock bag. Trust me! On a run last year, my iPod went KIA.
- Take your workout indoors: If it’s really hot outside, consider running on the treadmill or cross training inside. Sometimes it’s the lesser of two evils.
- Make sure you’re wearing the right kind of clothing. If you’re wearing a cotton t-shirt, take that thing off right now. I like Nike DriFit, but I know several companies make something similar. If you hunt around for deals, you can get them pretty cheap.
- Chafing: Another issue when you get really sweaty is major chafing. I have one word to help you: BodyGlide.
- Hydrate: I always have my handheld water bottle with me. If you feel comfortable taking something like a CamelBak, go for it. (You can read my tips on hydration here).
- Don’t forget to wear sunscreen: I’m naturally tan, but a few longer runs during the summer will turn me into a lobster. I like to eat lobster, but I don’t like to look like one.
How do you handle running in the heat?