Question: The heat is on its way (and for some has already made its arrival) and the summer is getting close. What are some of your tried and true summer running tips for staying safe and cool in the heat?
Like Jill, I too prefer running in the summer than the winter because it is not very motivating getting up early and spending longer bundling up in layers than it takes to complete a short run in freezing temps. Running in the heat has it's own challenges, so here is how I dealing with them.
- run in the morning before it gets too hot, or run indoors. I cannot stand the treadmill, so getting up early is my only option. I actually prefer to exercise in the mornings, so this works out well. Besides, I'm not going to be racing indoors or at night, so I need to acclimate to the heat.
- hydrate! During the winter, I can easily run 4-5 miles with no water. In the summer, I need water after 2-3 miles. Even though I hate carrying anything while I run, I use a handheld water bottle for short runs and a hydration belt for longer runs.
- wear appropriate gear aka wicking fabrics. I never run in cotton; it doesn't breath well and takes forever to dry, so it will weigh you down and make you feel hotter. You don't need to spend a lot of money on tech shirts; C9 by Champion has a nice selection available at Target for as little as $10. You can also find other brands heavily discounted at places like Ross or outlet stores. I also wear bondi bands to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and usually a hat and sunglasses to keep shield me from the sun.
- wear sunscreen. I'm really bad about remembering this one, mainly because my darker complexion means I don't get sunburnt easily. However, that doesn't preclude me from getting sun skin damage so I need to be more diligent. Not all sunscreens are created equal, so take a look this guide to help you find one that works for you.