Run It – How to beat the heat while running

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

One of the best parts of the Run It monthly series is that the advice and tips you get from the running bloggers and coaches involved is so varied. Every month I read the posts on the same topic from Angela, Laura, Nellie, Allie and Sarah, and each one has me nodding and thinking, ‘Great advice! I’ve never thought about it that way.” Our topic this month? How to beat the heat while running. Read on for advice on how to become a strong summer runner.

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

Acclimate

You wouldn’t expect to turn up on the trails in Oregon and be able to handle the elevation immediately. Your body needs time to acclimate to a change like that. Likewise, when the weather turns hot, don’t expect to have the same results or feel the same way running as you did a week earlier when spring was leaving a chill in the air.

You can acclimate yourself to the change in temperature and humidity by being adaptable. Move your workout earlier if necessary, to avoid the heat of the day. Be patient and give yourself a little leeway on pace and perceived effort as you get used to the change. Modify your eating and drinking habits to help your body with the new conditions. (You can find tips on proper hydration for runners in last week’s Run It series). 

Slow Down

Even as your pace slows when the heat begins, your rate of perceived exertion will probably stay the same, or even increase. A slower pace isn’t a terrible thing. It doesn’t mean you’re losing fitness, or hitting a running plateau. In fact, running in the summer months can positively affect you physiologically, leading to fitness benefits you’ll definitely see once the cooler weather returns. 

Take a deep breath and let go of any importance you attach to your training run paces – they are going to slow down in the heat naturally. This doesn’t mean you have to forego speed work – just plan carefully so you’re getting any speed workouts done when it’s least hot outside, and keep listening to your body.

Be Prepared

There are SO many tips for keeping cool when you’re running and they’re almost always good advice. From loose, light colored clothing, to hydrating properly, wearing sunscreen, and using hats and sunglasses for more protection from the sun, a lot of summer running tips are common sense.

Make like a Boy Scout and be prepared – make sure you have appropriate summer running gear ready for when hot weather starts. Test out hydration options before you’re on a long run on a 90 degree day. Make sure you’re taking in enough electrolytes when you’re hydrating extra for the heat.

Keep a Summer Running Diary

One of the best ways to be prepared is to know how you react to the heat, and what you need to be a confident, solid runner in the hottest months. You probably already keep a record of your runs (maybe old school paper and pen, but most likely your watch or fitness app just tracks the data without you having to think about it). During the summer, though, or at least when you’re still acclimating to a warmer season, put in a little extra effort to track what works for your body for hot weather running. Keep notes on details like temperature, amount and type of hydration, time of day, and how you felt. These details can be invaluable when you’re weighing up goal paces for a summer race, what the best time for your long run might be, or what works (and doesn’t work) for you in terms of pre-running fuel and hydration. 

Want more advice on the best ways to beat the heat while running? Check out the posts from my fellow running coaches:

Angela – Happy Fit Mama

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

Laura – This Runner’s Recipes

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

Nellie – Brooklyn Active Mama

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

Allie – Vita – Train for Life 

How to beat the heat while running - this month the Run It series brings you articles on the best way to deal with mid-summer running. Tips, advice, gear and more for summer running.

How do you adapt to summer running?

What’s your best hot weather running tip?

Comments

  1. If super hot and humid, I try to go early and use a route I know will be relatively shaded. I’m not a huge guy but I’m a sweater and have a harder time running in the heat as I get older.

Trackbacks

  1. […] more tips for staying cool when you’re working out in the heat? Check out our Run It round up on beating the heat, as well as my best tips for summer […]

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