Tips For Running in Hot Temperatures
There are many reasons why the summertime is one of the best times of the year to run — the days are longer giving us more time to fit in our run, running groups and meet-ups are usually in full swing prepping for fall races, and our running buddies are excited to explore new running routes.
But summer also brings hot and humid weather, which can be challenging (and sometimes unhealthy) for runners. We’re sharing our top tips for running in hot temperatures below, and we’d love to hear your suggestions, too.
1. Adjust your paces
Running in hot temperatures and humidity increases the physical stress on your body — i.e., your heart rate and the effort your body feels increases. While it’s normal to want to stick to the same paces you hit when it’s not hot, it’s important to remember that slowing down because of heat and humidity will not cause you to lose fitness.
For example, if your 10-minute mile produces a heart rate of 125 beats per minute (bpm) in normal weather, the same pace might produce a 145 bpm heart rate in hot, humid weather. Even though you ran the same time, your body registers the hot, humid run as a harder workout. Much of running is done based on the achieved heart rate during a workout — so your pace doesn’t always need to be the main focus of your run, especially in extreme weather.
TIP: If you have a hard time slowing down, try listening to music that plays at a lower bpm, podcasts, or audio books while you run. Weav Run allows you to adjust a song’s bpm, that way you can listen to songs at a lower intensity to better match the intensity of your pace. Download Weav Run and try it out!
2. Wear appropriate clothing & gear
Clothing and gear can make a huge difference when you’re running in hotter temperatures. Invest in high-tech, lightweight, and moisture-wicking fabrics and lighter colored clothing.
Keep the sun off your face with hats, visors, and sunglasses. And don’t forget sunscreen (opt for water-resistant sunscreen, if possible) and reapply if you’re sweating for more than an hour!
3. Stay hydrated
It can be challenging to keep up with your water intake on a hot day, say nothing about a 2-hour long run. But hydration is extremely important for runners — especially in hot temperatures.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is key. In general, it’s recommended to drink 64 ounces per day, and this baseline increases on daily activity and how much you sweat. Keeping a bottle handy and drinking throughout the day can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. While running, the rule of thumb is to drink a minimum of 8 ounces of water every one to two hours on your run.
To carry water with you during your run, hydration packs or belts are great, and a water bottle with a hand strap is also convenient. You might also try placing water bottles along your route, if possible, or run a route with water fountains or stores so you can hydrate mid-run.
4. Replenish electrolytes
Similar to water intake, it’s important to replenish electrolytes. You’ll likely sweat more during a hot run, which means you lose more electrolytes. Popular electrolytes include Nuun tablets, Ultima packets, SaltStick caps, and you can always mix half a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) with half water. Electrolytes can be taken before, during, and after workouts.
5. Don’t run during peak sun hours
It can be tough to roll out of bed at dawn or lace up your sneakers after a long day at work, but running in the early mornings or late evenings can help you avoid the blistering sun.
6. Embrace the treadmill
A treadmill can be your friend when the weather isn’t ideal to run outside. Add a 1 - 2% incline to better simulate running outside, or try alternating the incline throughout your run to keep it interesting and challenging.
What other tips would you add for running in the heat and humidity? We’d love to hear…
Article by Kelley MacDonald.