I don’t know about the weather where you live, but it is freaking HOT in Winston-Salem. HOT & HUMID. I love running outside but with weather like this, it can be downright dangerous.
Here are eight tips for keeping cool while maintaining your hot running bod in the hot summer months.
1) Run in the off hours. The best option for running in the heat: don’t run in the peak heat. Go early or go late. I find that going early is cooler since the temperature has all night to drop and the roads aren’t still radiating heat from the hot day.
2) Wear breathable, wicking clothing in light colors. Please, for the love of all that is good and wise, don’t wear cotton, especially if you live in a humid environment. It will trap the heat escaping from your body, hold onto your sweat, make you hotter, and slow you down when your shirt gets heavy from sweat. And other runners will scoff at you. Check TJ Maxx and Dick’s Sporting Goods for deals.
[ This was at the end of my third leg of the Wasatch Back Relay. The temps for this run were in the high 90s at an altitude around 7000 feet.]
3) Carry water. Drink 16 oz before you head out and carry water, even for distances when you normally wouldn’t. In the cooler months, I rarely carry water with me on runs shorter than six miles. But in the heat, I run with water. In hot temps, you will dehydrate more quickly and that water might be your savior mid-run. I love this water bottle; it straps onto your hand so you don’t have to grip it and it has a pouch for keys, a phone, etc.
4) If the sun is up, wear sunscreen. I slather SPF 70 on my face and SPF 30 on the rest of my body. Don’t worry about the sunscreen blocking your sweat. You’ll still sweat just fine.
5) Wear a breathable hat and/or sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. Squinting sucks when you’re running. I love my white Nike hat.
6) Run more slowly than your typical pace. Go by your typical effort instead of your typical pace. Your regular pace will feel harder in the heat and humidity. Your body will adapt eventually but don’t let slower runs discourage you. And don’t push your pace if you’re not feeling strong.
7) Run with someone or tell someone when you’re going and when you’ll be back. And then check back in so they don’t worry. You never know what can happen on a run, so this is always a good idea, but especially a good idea when you’re running in extreme temps. Heck, tweet or email me if you have to! (tweet: @afoodiestaysfit, email: email@example.com)
8 ) Listen to your body. Have no shame in taking walk breaks. Have no shame in calling it quits. If you don’t feel well during the run, don’t push your limits. If you feel dizzy, if you notice you aren’t sweating like you normally do, or if something just doesn’t feel right, back it off and call it a day. There is no shame in knowing and listening your body.
What are your tips for running in the heat?
Do you live in a humid environment? I grew up in a desert (Utah) and this humidity in North Carolina has been quite the beast to get used to!