Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Gear and Tips!

This week's topic for Take It and Run Thursday at the Runner's Lounge Blog is Summer Gear and Tips! 

I started running in March of last year, so I had to adapt to the heat pretty quickly or give up running. I wasn't about to let that happen this time, so I adapted. It wasn't long before the cold weather came and I forgot all about running in the heat, but it quickly came back to me as summer arrived in Florida much too soon. Here is a list what helped me get through it, and a few new things I'm trying this year.
  • run in the early morning: 
    • thankfully, the beginning of summer (or end of spring in FL) also means an earlier sunrise. This makes it easier to run before work but not have to do it in the dark. The humidity level is usually still high even at 6:30 am, but at least I don't have to deal with the blazing sun beating down on me. 
  • running clothes tips:
    • I never run in cotton even in the winter, but it's even more important to run in wicking clothes during the summer as sweat accumulates quickly. 
    • While I have bought a few pricier running shorts at Race Ready (mostly for the awesome pockets), I find most of my tops for pretty cheap ($10-15) at Target (C9 by Champion is good enough and affordable) or Ross. So there is no need to break the bank to run comfortably. 
    • I run exclusively in tank tops or short sleeve shirts and shorts during the summer. I even bought a black bra in case I am ever brave enough to run without a shirt. I have a feeling the weather will soon win out over modesty =P
    • I find that clothing closer to my body do a better job at transferring moisture away from the skin and keep me from feeling icky. However, I also like mesh like materials and those don't have to be as skin tight to work well.
    • I found a running skirt that seems to work ok for running. I am not a big fan and prefer to run in biking-style shorts, but with this increasing heat I may have to give it a try more often. 
    • I read this great tip somewhere: soak your hair and shirt in cold water before a run in the heat to help keep you cool. I've yet to try this, but it should work great. Even better: soak your shirt (and maybe your hat or sports bra), ring it out, then put it in the freezer for a few minutes before you put it on just before heading out for your run. 
  • body glide: 
    • I use it mostly on long runs to avoid blisters on my feet, but the hotter it is, the sooner I need it.
  • head gear: 
    • I used to wear the regular terry cloth sweat bands, but I've since upgraded to a bondi band or halo head band to keep sweat from dripping down my face. 
    • I wear a wicking hat on top of the headband to keep the sun out of my eyes--and my freezy  hair under control. 
    • I still use the terry cloth sweat bands for my wrist so I can wipe the sweat off my face while I run.
  • water:
    • staying hydrated is even more important when is hot and humid out. 
    • I am not a big fan of holding anything while I run, but for shorter runs of less than 3 miles, I can get away with the 12 oz Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Lite Water Bottle
    • I recently purchased the Amphipod RunLite Snapflask 4 Hydration Belt for longer runs. While I've yet to actually try it out, the 8oz bottles that come with it are the perfect size to carry in my hand. 
    • I like to add ice to the water bottle, which makes the bottle sweat, so I put a wrist sweat band around it to keep it from slipping off my hand while I run.
  • sunscreen: 
    • yeah it takes time, and its easy to forget, but you gotta do it.
PS: I just saw this very relevant article tweeted today: 3 Ways to Stay Cool on the Run.


Joe said...

I'm all about hydration belts! I love mine and carry it even on short runs to stay accustomed to the feel of it.


Kim said...

ooo, I am totally going to check out the headbands!

Anonymous said...

The wetting the hair before a run on a hot day is a great tip - I never heard that one before!

Kitzzy said...

I just saw this very relevant article today:

3 Ways to Stay Cool on the Run

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