It’s getting hot in here. Actually…it’s been hot. It’s July. While I’ve written before about tips for running in the cold, I figured I would share some tips for running when it’s hot.
If I had to pick an ideal temperature for outdoor runs, it would be 50 degrees. I much prefer cooler temps to hotter ones. But with quarantine summer, running outdoors has been much more frequent and I also prefer the great outdoors to the treadmill, so hot runs it is. Here’s how I am staying cool (and staying motivated).
Head out early in the morning
Some things I’ve read suggest early morning OR later in the day, but I think it’s still so hot later in the day. Plus I am a morning exerciser. I really think running or working out first thing in the morning sets you up for success the rest of the day. Not only is it slightly cooler, but it helps you get up earlier and once it’s done, the demands of the day can’t prevent you from working out later. Also, the sun isn’t blaring yet so the shadier your course, the better.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Running in hot temps has really bothered me over the years, but I have found that if I have enough water, it helps. This means not only that morning, but the night before, too. And I always have water with me unless I am running my neighborhood and it’s easily accessible to snag it. If I run at the park, I always bring a yeti full of ice water so it’s chilling for me in the car, and I run with my trusty water belt. Sexy? Not at all. Efficient and safe? YES. I also stick some Nuun tabs in my water to replenish with electrolytes. Also helpful for hangovers (just saying).
Wear the proper gear
I prefer running in moisture-wicking clothes, so when I sweat, it keeps me dry. Tank top, shorts and hat are my summer run uniform. I’m not a huge Walmart fan (I absolutely hate shopping in the store), but I recently did find a few great options for workout clothes on the cheap. This tank top, a cooling visor and bike shorts. I am all about the bike shorts trend and these are going to be perfect for Peloton riding (more on that after I get my bike next week!)
I also like investing in a few higher-quality pieces to keep you through years to come (think leggings, sports bras or jackets). lululemon has been great to me over the years and lasts forever. They are having a sale right now, too! Athleta is another great option (also having its semi-annual sale!) and also has petite sizing, which lululemon does not. Other than that, my go-tos are usually Dick’s Sporting Goods (I am eyeing up these shorts) – especially Nike or Calia when on sale – and Old Navy.
Runner’s World just tested summer running gear, too.
Put on your workout clothes as soon as you wake up
It can be hard to be motivated to workout during normal times, but especially during a pandemic. I find putting on my workout clothes as soon as I wake up helps convince me to get in a quick workout so I can shower and start the workday. Also, having a dog helps. I walk Hugo in the morning and that helps wake us both up. Although that guy loves to sleep and cuddle in the morning, so that makes it harder to get up!
Have people to keep you accountable
I used to love meeting up with friends for spin class. While they are technically open right now along with my other favorite studios, I am just not ready to go back yet. So, virtual accountability it is! Peloton makes it easy to sync up with friends, or you can join countless Facebook Groups, too. I know when I did Faster Way to Fat Loss, I was in a Facebook Group that helped me stay accountable. And having a spouse or partner at home can help you both stay motivated. I bought my husband shoes for the Peloton so we can both get rides in.
STOP if you feel sick
Running in the heat can be extremely dangerous, so if you feel any symptoms, stop. This includes having the chills, a headache, feeling light-headed or dizzy. I am not a medical expert, but make sure to listen to your body. Don’t let your ego make you keep going. If you feel sick, immediately stop and go into the AC and drink water. The Sweet Summertime Sprint Facebook page has a lot more resources on this topic.
If the heat isn’t your friend but you need to get a workout in, use an indoor treadmill or just do your own kind of workout indoors. My basement is where I work out and it’s nice and cool down there. Old school wood paneling and all.
Ice, ice baby
After my run, sitting in the cold AC is the best while I drink my water with Nuun. And speaking of spin class, after they usually give you a cold towel with eucalyptus oil so I sometimes recreate that for myself by having a cold towel waiting for me. I also like to take my jade roller that I keep in the fridge and roll that over my face. And then I hop in a cold shower to cool down. It’s basically like being at the spa.
Stay cool, my friends! What other tips do you have?