4 Tips to Make Running in the Heat a Little More Breezy.

When it comes to exercise, I am a dabbler. On my laundry list of fitness pursuits once considered my absolute favorite thing ever: free weights, BodyPump, Spin, Yoga, Pilates, BodyAttack, KickBoxing, Boot Camp, HIIT and…running. I always come back to running.

While it’s my first love, injuries have taught me that I should be more of a 5-miles-a-couple-of-times-a-week runner, not a marathoner. I’m totally okay with that. Running is where I hit my zone. As my feet and breath fall into a familiar rhythm my brain gets a vacation. It’s like a drug. I need to run. But what’s a girl to do in this sweltering heat? Here are a few tips:

1. Morning, never afternoon. The earlier you get your tush out of bed, the more pleasant your run is going to be. First light is by far the coolest part of the day. Use it. Set your alarm early and enjoy your time outside.

2. Visor, not hat. My outdoor runs aways include a visor. Always. I need something to keep the sun and sweat out of my eyes. Hats keep heat in. Visors let heat out. Embrace your inner tennis mom and buy a visor.

3. Water, never soda.  I first swore off soda in the midst of sweltering two-a-days for softball. (I pitched for a highly competitive traveling team. I’ll tell you more about it sometime.) I used to drink Sprite, but found that it made me sick on the playing field. I gave up soda then, and haven’t ever picked the habit back up. Ditch the can. Drink loads of water.

4. Get the most bang for your time. Logic tells you that it’s not ideal to train for a marathon in 95 degree heat coupled with 95 percent humidity. Unless you hail from somewhere far north of sweet home Alabama, save your ridiculously long runs for the fall.

Instead of adding time, use the summer months to add intensity. Yesterday, I ran 4 miles through the neighborhoods that surround our local high school. I used the last ten minutes I had allotted as exercise time to sprint the stadiums. You can also knock out a 40-yard dash, kill some burpees or turn the sideline benches into the most wicked step machine you’ve ever used. Get creative, get your heart rate up.

Do you run in the summer? Care to share any survival tips? 

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6 thoughts on “4 Tips to Make Running in the Heat a Little More Breezy.

  1. Running in the heat can be more challenging, but it’s not so bad if you are smart about it. I live in Florida and am training for a fall marathon, so not running is not an option. I agree- the earlier the better. For activities that require a sports beverage like Gatorade, you can skip the artificial colors and flavors by making your own. Electrolytes come from salt and salt substitute. Add a little salt to some juice for a healthier variation. The electrolytes help your body hold on to the water to stay hydrated.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I love running in the morning but if I don’t wake up early (lazy me), I hit the trails, that way I can run in the shade. Also, if I don’t run in the morning due to unexpected circumstances, I do it like at 8pm when the sun is setting. It’s also nice and relaxing to run with the view of the sunset. I make sure I hydrate myself the whole day. 🙂

  3. It didn’t take long for me to realize that sleeping in is not an option if you want any type of quality (outside) workout! Morning temps are best and your body core temp is also lower, making it just that more tolerable. That said, can’t wait for fall 🙂 My tip…always chew gum, especially if I’m not bringing water along. Keeps the mouth from getting too dry.

    • I’m too much of a klutz to run with water. Chewing gum is such a great idea! BTW, you were the person I was thinking about when I said “far north…” I bet running in your hometown is grand right now!

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