How to Make Running in the Heat More Comfortable

Around 50 million Americans run regularly all year round, which means we must adapt our running schedules to the seasons. 

Unlike the cooler months, running in the summer takes organization, otherwise, you could suffer from heatstroke or dehydration. Although this sounds overwhelming, there are small adjustments you can make so running is enjoyable again. Perhaps you’re worried about running in the heat and you’re looking for tips to guide you. 

Sounds like you? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.  

Wear a Hat or Visor

Once you’re familiar with the benefits of running in the heat, grab a hat or visor for protection. Not only will this protect you from the skin but it helps you stay cool, which is crucial during the summer months. You can also soak your hat in cold water before leaving as it will lower your body temp.   

Choose the Right Clothes

Regardless of the season, one of the top running tips is to choose the right clothes. As a general rule, wear as little as possible like a light tank top with shorts. But make sure you wear moisture-wicking materials as it keeps you cool, and ditching cotton is how to prevent chafing

Start Slow and End Slow 

If you’re not sure how to run in the heat, then start and end slow. Start with a warm-up and gradually get into a jog before finding an ideal running pace. The goal is to gradually increase your heart rate rather than starting too fast and tiring yourself out.

Repeat this for when you’re ending the run as it regulates your heart rate and helps you cool down. 

Apply Sunscreen 

Applying sunscreen should be a regular habit as it protects your skin from harmful UV rays. This is important even when it’s early morning or partly cloudy as you’re still vulnerable to skin cancer. And always choose sweat-proof sunscreen so you needn’t worry about sweat and product stinging your eyes.   

Run in the Morning or Evening

Another way to keep cool running in the heat is choosing early mornings or evenings. Early runs are often the coldest in the summer, even though humidity can be an issue. Or, if you’re not a morning person, then start your run in the late evening. 

Regardless of which you prefer, always avoid running at midday when the sun’s blazing as you’re vulnerable to heatstroke.  

Head to the Trails

One of the top running tricks is to ditch your regular route around the park and hit the trails.

This is because asphalt and concrete absorb heat, which radiates back to your face. But when you visit your local trails, you’ll be under the shade more and will naturally slow down. Plus, many routes have a nearby lake or river where you can cool off post-run.    

Run Inside 

Take your running session to the gym and hit the treadmills instead. Not only will you enjoy the air conditioning but you can alter the intensity, a lifesaver if the heat has tired you out. Plus, you can run at the hottest part of the day without putting yourself at risk.  

Stay Hydrated

Drink water before, during, and after your run to prevent dehydration. You could also replenish your electrolytes by enjoying a sports drink as it will ward off headaches, nausea, and dizziness. If you’re worried about carrying the water bottle, choose one with a hand strap as it’s less bulky.

You should also keep your water in the fridge overnight so it’s cold when you head out, which is key for keeping your temperature low. And don’t forget you can always pour water over your t-shirt when you’re getting too hot during your run.  

Be Well Fueled 

Aside from staying hydrated, choose food that’s high in carbohydrates as it breaks down into glucose, the body’s main source of energy. So load up on oatmeal with berries or toast with several slices of avocado as it sneaks in protein, which is also key for energy.  

If you’re worried about dietary restrictions, then avoid eating red meat, spicy food, or high-fiber veggies as it’s harder to digest.  

Run With Friends 

Running with friends is a great way to stay motivated and make the run more enjoyable. You should also join a local running group as you can choose the perfect route and access a steady stream of water or sports drink. A bonus is it’s safer and if anything happens, then the group likely has someone who knows first aid or what to do in an emergency.  

Check the Breeze

If you can, start running with the wind behind you so it’s easier to stay cool. Then, run back with a headwind as it will prevent you from overheating. Plus, the cooler air is a lifesaver when you’re running back and feeling exhausted.  

Take Walk Breaks 

Conserve energy by interspersing your running with walk breaks. Don’t be worried about not sticking to your regular speed becuase adjusting your tempo is inevitable. Instead, take 30-second walk breaks to catch your breath and cool down before starting again. 

And whenever you feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop running because overheating can be serious. Instead, drink water and seek medical attention if you don’t see any improvement.  

Enjoy Our Tips for Running in the Heat

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re comfortable about running in the heat.

Make sure you stay hydrated, eat the right food before heading out, and run with friends. You should also take regular walk breaks and choose the right clothes to prevent over-heating. Have fun on your run! 

Found this post helpful? Awesome! Then check out the rest of our blog for more tips and tricks.

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