There’s nothing quite like running in the fresh air...even if that fresh air is filled with humidity and topped with a blazing sun, making you wonder “What was I thinking?” and “Why don’t I own a treadmill?” over and over again with each passing mile. While it may be hard to believe, running in hot weather does have its benefits. It can actually help runners acclimate to running in a wide range of temperatures so as the seasons change, your body can adjust to it quicker. Just remember to always listen to your body and take any necessary precautions to avoid overheating, whether that means taking a break or cutting your run short altogether. Here are three things we like to keep in mind while running throughout the summer season.
Slow Down Your Pace
All of that heat and humidity this time of year puts some added physical stress on the body during your runs. That means it takes more effort to go at the same pace you normally would at any other time of year. To avoid exhausting yourself and overdoing it, slow down as much as you need to in order to feel like you’re in a good place. For us, this means anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds slower, but each person is different so do what feels best for you.
Scope out any new running trails ahead of time to make note of where the water fountains are located and how far apart they’re placed. Or, if you’d feel way more comfortable carrying water or an electrolyte drink with you, we’d recommend investing in a hydration vest. They have enough room to stash plenty of energy gels, too!
Keep Cool (or as cool as you can)
Find a running trail that has a lot of shade so you’ve got some respite from the harsh summer sun. Whenever you come up to a water fountain, hold your wrists under the stream of water for 20-30 seconds and splash some water on the back of your neck. This is a quick and effective way to lower your overall body temperature.
And finally – while not exactly a tip for beating the heat – here’s our gentle reminder to always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, because nothing ruins a runner’s high faster than a sunburn!