Tips for Running in the Heat

Good morning and happy Tuesday! We have been having some HOT weather here in Michigan. Yesterday was our school’s field day all day long, and the heat sure was rough. I think the average temperature yesterday was 92! This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for us Michiganders it really is a heat wave when we get anything above 85, especially so early in June. The school doesn’t have air conditioning, and we closed out our field day with an hour long assembly in the gym at 2:30 which only made the day get warmer. I sure am glad to have that done!

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On Sunday I set out for a mid day run; we spent the night at a relative’s house and I hadn’t packed any running clothes, so a morning run was out. I was also too antsy to wait until later in the evening to run, so a midday run it was. When I set out for my run it was in the mid 80s and super humid!

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This run reminded me that while I’ve been ridiculously excited for summer running, and all the freedom that comes with it, I temporarily forgot about the struggles that it brings as well.

The number one struggle of summer running: HEAT.

I completed all of my runs when training for my first marathon in June – September, and ran them right in the middle of the day. As I am about to embark on a marathon training journey during the same time frame, I’ve been reflecting back on those runs to remember what worked so well in the heat and made those runs manageable.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for surviving these mid summer runs.

Wear loose fitting clothing

I used to wear normal tank tops when I’d run, and never realized how irritating it was to have fabric pressed up against my skin until I discovered the flowy ones. Loose fitting shorts as opposed to leggings and loose fitting tank tops really help you get some of the breeze!

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Wear a visor

I feel so much cooler when the sun is not beating down on my face! I’ve tried to wear a hat when running but that makes my head so hot that my body can’t cool down. Visors make all the difference!

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Snack on grapes

This is the best mid run snack I’ve ever tried! If you freeze them before you take them it is even better. They are so juicy and provide instant sugar and wetness when you are hot and thirsty!

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Fill your water bottle halfway full and freeze the night before; fill the remaining with water when you take it out of the freezer before you leave

This is the best thing I’ve ever discovered! If you fill your water bottle halfway with water the night before, and then lay it in the freezer on its side overnight, there will be ice all around it in the morning. Right before you head out for your run, fill the other half with cold water. The heat will melt the ice while you run but the water will stay colder so much longer!

Also… bring water to drink AND extra to pour on your head 😉

Having an extra water bottle, even just warm water, around to pour on your head provides instant gratification. This helps cool me down immediately!

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Wear light colored clothing

I’ve made the mistake of wearing black and navy blue for long runs and will never do it again. Yikes! Those colors sure pick up the sun and make you feel like you’re melting. Light colored clothing articles don’t add any extra heat at least.

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Wear sunblock

Sunblock helps keep my skin cool while running, especially on my face. You don’t realize how exposed you are when you are out there! Plus no one wants those runner tan lines 😉

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Do your warm ups or a pre run walk outside to get acclimated to the temperature

I’ve found that when I spend time out in the heat before running it feels much more manageable when I begin. Whenever I walk outside from an air conditioned house the heat feels absolutely ridiculous and I think there is no way I can stand around in it, let alone run!

Those are my tips for running in the heat. After experimenting with many different things on my summer long runs, these are definitely the favorites that I’ve found.

Let me know if you have any others to add! I always love hearing how others manage the heat. I hope you get outdoors today and stay cool – have a terrific Tuesday!

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