Running in the Heat

It’s that time of year–when the heat of summer descends upon us. Although it’s not even Memorial Day, where I live the mercury soars and even the mornings feel a little too warm for a good run. But the treadmill doesn’t work for me. I don’t like the feeling of running in place and glancing constantly at the time clicking by on the machine. How do I combat the heat? Here are five ways I cope:

1. I bring a cooler with ice to keep in my car. If I run somewhere away from home (i.e., I drive to the location of my run), I keep a couple of water bottles in a cooler. Although it may hurt to drink something very cold, after a few minutes, it is tepid drinking water. It also feels good to pour a little bit of the cold water over my head to cool myself off and keep my body temperature down.

2. I discovered visors. I cannot stand wearing hats when I run. It makes me very hot, even ones that are made with breathable fabric–kudos to those of you who do! Because of how difficult hats were for me, I had a running coach once recommend a visor–but I thought they were silly looking. I decided to try it and it’s been the best discovery. The heat dissipates from my head because it’s not covered and I get that shade from the brim, which is much more effective than sunglasses.

3. I look for new running routes with shade. In the city where I live, it is very open. I don’t live in a part of the country with woodsy areas where shade is plentiful. But I have learned to discover them. I run the perimeter of parking garages, downtown where the buildings hide the sun and in areas with tall apartment complexes. It’s not ideal, as I’d rather be out in nature. But you do what you need to do to not overheat.

4. I add in crosstraining. Because of my dislike of the dreadmill, I sometimes just cannot run in the summer. It just gets too hot and even dangerous to go outside. I risk heat stroke and dehydration. The summer is a great time for me to take Zumba classes, CrossFit and add in a spinning class here and there.

5. I also keep an extra wicking shirt in the cooler. Halfway through my run, I switch shirts. The new one is ice cold and hits my core, which is the most important part of your body to keep cool.

Happy running!