12 Tips for Running in the Heat

It is getting hot out there. Time to talk about how to survive the heat and still log your running miles. Here are some tips that I can offer after years of running in the heat and humidity. 

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1. Frozen water bottle. Carry a frozen water bottle and alternate hands. Even put it on your neck to help keep your core temperature down. When it starts to melt, pour it over your head. Your hands, head, and feet are where heat is trying to escape from, so these are the areas you want to concentrate on cooling down.

2. Ice cubes. Stuff ice cubes in your sports bra, pockets, or under your hat. This also helps keep your core temperature down.ice-2637363_1920.jpg

3. Run early in the morning. It is best to try to run before sunrise if possible, but that may not be feasible for everyone. Run as early as you can, and if that isn’t an option, run in shaded areas.

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Thailand in the morning.

4. Hydrate. Remember to drink some water before you leave, during your run, and when you get back. When temperatures rise, I weigh myself before and after a run to help keep track of the water weight lost. I will lose up to 7 pounds in water weight and that needs to be replaced. That’s a lot of water.water-bottle-2001912_1920

5. Extra electrolytes. It is important not to create an imbalance with your electrolytes. This can lead to all sorts of problems like lethargy, dizziness, and muscle issues. When you sweat, you aren’t just sweating water. Replace electrolytes with things like Nuun, electrolyte tablets, or coconut water. I always shoot for products that don’t have much sugar in them.

6. Wear fewer clothes. Adjust your wardrobe to tank tops or go shirtless. Always wear shorts instead of leggings. This may mean you need to throw on some Vaseline or other product to reduce chaffing. Ugh. ‘Tis the season for chaffing.

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7. Sunglasses. Wear UV protective sunglasses if you are running after sunrise. Everyone is talking about Goodr, which are designed for especially for running. They are on my wish-list.

8. Wear light colors. Never wear dark colored shirts when it gets really hot or if you are running during mid-day, as it absorbs more heat.

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9. Run by feel. Run by exertion rather than your watch. Accept that you will be slower.

10. Time to adapt. It takes about two weeks to adapt to warmer conditions, so give yourself time to get used to the heat. When summer starts, it can be hard to cope, but over time, it does get easier—your body can adjust and adapt to most conditions.

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11. Go inside. If you need to, go inside to the dreadmill. No runner wants to hear this, but sometimes it might be the best choice. Heat stroke is real.treadmill-3423613_1920.jpg

12. Cold shower. I even know people that will take a cold shower in their running clothes before heading out. I personally haven’t done this, but I look like I have when I am done.

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What tricks work for you to keep cool?

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12 thoughts on “12 Tips for Running in the Heat

  1. good article. thank you! I always wet my hair before a heated run (using a visor keeps the water from dripping down your face) and use one of those cooling cloths that I wet and wrap around my neck. I lightly hose down my shirt before I start and try to run on the shaded side of the road. Sometimes I wonder how I run in oppressive heat but it does the trick. I’m 61.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good ideas, too! I love those cooling towels for dry and hot areas, but I just couldn’t do them in humid and hot places. I think I will try to lightly spray my shirt before I go next time. I like this idea better than getting completely soaked in the shower before going. 😆

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  2. I’ve been searching for electrolyte supplements and I’ll have to try these out! It’s hard to find these without a ton of sugar in them, so a lot of times I just opt for separate supplements of things like magnesium. But I’d love to have a simple all in one supplement!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi! So, when I lived in Kansas, and I was pregnant, and it was 115 degrees outside (literally), I had to wear these cooling towels. They remind me of the donut pillows you take on an airplane, but they are seriously awesome. They fit right around your neck, and they even make ones that you can velcro to your wrists or ankles. Some kind of cooling towel or something. It lowers your body temp and they are super light weight. Just thought I would add in an extra tip! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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