8 tips to tackle the summer’s heat as a runner
Remaining cool and staying hydrated in summer is essential to not affect your running.
Summer is a favourite time of year for many. The sun’s out, the BBQs on, you’re getting a tan, and the families over. But what does this mean for your running? How are you supposed to keep cool while still logging those weekly miles?
How to keep cool while running in the heat
Running in summer is great, but it can also sometimes be too hot. While we’re not a fan of complaining, we do like staying cool and being able to run. Here are 7 ways to keep cool and make it through summer’s heat as a runner.
1. Drink before, during, and after your run
To prevent dehydration, it is essential to drink before running, during your run, and after your run. Especially if you’re run is longer than 30-minutes. The hotter the weather, the more we sweat. This results in thicker blood due to less water content. This consequently slows down the oxygen delivered to our muscles, reducing our running performance.
Remaining hydrated will prevent you from hitting a wall and allow you to keep running through even the hottest of days.
2. Freeze water bottles
A handy tip many runners swear by in summer is freezing their water bottles. Put a couple of water bottles in the freezer overnight, and they’ll be ready for your morning run. The water should have melted enough around the third or fourth mile, the perfect time for a drink!
3. Run early in the morning
Freezing your water bottles at night and running in the morning is by far the best way to go in summer. When running in the morning, the temperature will be much cooler, less humid, and far more comfortable to run.
Tip: Be sure to drink water after your morning run and replace any electrolytes lost with a sports drink or electrolyte powder.
4. Wear a hat
Wearing a cap with a brim will keep the sun out of your eyes while keeping the sun off of your head, keeping you much cooler while you run.
Tip: Once finished with your run, wet your cap and put it back on! This will cool you down tremendously.
5. Don’t be afraid to take breaks
When running in the heat, it is crucial to listen to our bodies. Regardless of your distance, if you feel like taking a break, do so. Take shelter in a local shop, stand under a bus stop, or dip your feet in the river.
During summer we are more likely to develop heatstroke. Listen to your body and cut your run short if needed. It’s better to sit out one run than two or three.
6. Dress for the weather
Dressing for the weather is by far one of the best ways to stay cool during summer’s heat. Ditch the leggings, long-sleeved tops, and woolly hats and opt for a tank top, pair of shorts, short-sleeved shirt, or sports bra.
Tip: Wear light colours – these will absorb less heat
7. Slow down the pace
Slowing down the pace in summer will prevent your body temperature from rising as quickly. This is essential to avoid overheating and a decreased running performance.
Tip: Run with a friend, you’ll be more inclined to chat and forget you’re running slow!
8. Sometimes it’s best to head indoors
No matter your motivation, sometimes it’s just too hot. We recommend running on the treadmill if possible. Play your favourite music, whack the air con on, and let the miles fly.
Tip: You can test the heat by going for a short walk before planning to run
Sports student, writer, and avid runner.