As rewarding as running is, there is no denying that it can be grueling. It often pushes the body to its physical and mental limits – and then there’s summer running on top of that! There’s no escaping the dread that comes with the thought of a hot run. But there are tips for running in heat that can help you conquer running in hot weather! Don’t be defeated by the season – make the most of it by practicing these 10 simple tips for running in hot weather!
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Table of Contents
10 Tips for Running in Hot Weather
These 10 tips for running in heat include proactive prevention, motivational strategies, and effective mindsets necessary to ensure a safe, successful, hot run experience!
- Wear the Right Fabrics
- Protect Yourself From the Sun
- Hydrate and Replenish
- Find a Shaded Course
- Run at Certain Times
- Use a Treadmill
- Book a Summer Race
- Find Someone to Run With
- Remind Yourself At Least It’s Not Winter!
- Reward Yourself with a Cold Post Run Treat
Tip #1: Wear the Right Fabrics
The first line of defense for summer running is wearing the right fabrics. Think lightweight, light colored, breathable, moisture wicking, and quick drying fabrics. Why are these factors so important?
If you are running in summer, you are going to sweat. Even those people out there who claim they don’t sweat – they will. The right fabrics will help transport that inevitable moisture away so that it does not continually come in contact with your skin. This effectively keeps you dry, unclammy, and free from blisters forming.
What’s the best fabric to wear to survive a hot run? For me, the answer is hands down merino wool, and here’s why. It meets all the above requirements. It is lightweight, moisture wicking, and quick drying. BONUS – merino wool also has this fantastic odor resistant ability, which is awesome for summer running.
Make sure that the running clothes you wear are light colored, so as not to attract the sun, and NOT cotton! If you do one thing to prepare for running in hot weather, it would be to avoid cotton at all costs!
Tip #2: Protect Yourself from the Sun
Head coverings and sunscreen. You will need both for running in summer, so long as the sun is above the horizon during your run.
Tip #3: Hydrate and Replenish
It is crucial that you stay hydrated to maintain safe running in hot weather. Do not make the common mistake of gorging on water just prior to a hot run, but neglecting the lead up and post run necessary hydration. If you are going to be consistently running in hot weather, then you need to be consistently hydrating. All day, every day.
Yes, make sure you drink plenty of water just before your run as well, and make sure that you are hydrating frequently and consistently during your run. Take some time to figure out a hydration system you plan to use during your summer running.
For me, it often looks like choosing a course that either has water facilities (like a water fountain in a park) available, or finding a loop course that passes by a designated spot where I have water available (like my own home or where I parked my car). It is also possible to transport a hydration system on your person. If you plan to leave water along your course for yourself, make sure that you are using a water bottle that is going to keep your water ice cold.
After running in hot weather, be sure to drink plenty of water immediately afterwards to replenish.
Tip #4: Find a Shaded Course
If possible, find a shaded course that meets the needs for your summer running. A little shade goes a long way in making running in hot weather slightly more comfortable, safe, and bearable. Parks are a good place to look, as they provide more solace from urbanization, and typically maintain more natural vegetation.
Tip #5: Run at Certain Times
Early morning, dusk, or even evening (with the right precautions) are more ideal times for running in hot weather. Running during these windows will help you avoid the hottest part of the day.
If running at night is your preferred, or only, option, make sure you are properly prepared with an effective lighting system, and that you know your path very well. A well lit path is most ideal, like a sidewalk well lit by street lamps. I would recommend against night time running on rural back roads or areas that are not well lit.
Tip #6: Use a Treadmill
If you find you need to, use a treadmill if you have access to one. It is ok to allow an indoor break from the heat.
Tip #7: Book a Summer Race
One of the best forms of motivation during summer running is to know what your end goal is. Knowing that you have a summer race to look forward to can help push you past those mental road blocks that will inevitably pop up in the middle of that scorching hot run. Running in summer is a formidable opponent, so make sure that you have an inventory of motivations ready to go!
Looking for some extreme races and adventure runs? Here’s the top 21 races from around the globe!
Tip #8: Find Someone to Run With
Having an accountability partner makes sticking to a summer running routine more intentional. It is one more form of motivational strategies. Having a running partner to talk with and run with can also help take your mind off of focusing on running in hot weather. They can also be a useful resource as far as reminding you when to hydrate, when to take a break, and when to listen to your body.
Tip #9: Remind Yourself At Least It’s Not Winter!
In summer, runners cringe at heat and dream of winter. But guess what? In winter, runners cringe at cold and dream of warmth. When the dread of that hot run starts to creep in, it helps to have a mindset that reminds you that, at that moment, it is worth appreciating that it is not the freezing temps of winter. Because you know you’ll be dreading that soon enough! Try to find what is worth appreciating about running in hot weather.
Tip #10: Reward Yourself with a Cold Post Run Treat
Again, just like looking forward to that summer race as your motivation, a more short term motivational strategy is to reward yourself with a cold, post run treat (after properly re-hydrating of course)! Frozen fruit, a popsicle, iced coffee, frozen yogurt, etc., are a few of the incentives I use myself.
Be careful to not over do it though. A big bowl of ice cream post run will likely upset your recovering stomach. And again, do not skip the important step of re-hydrating and replenishing first, before you treat yourself.
You can successfully conquer running in summer and running in hot weather with these 10 tips for running in heat! Now what’s next?
CHECK OUT: If your summer running leads you to a race, prepare for all the other factors with my complete 16 week training plan!
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