Summer Running – Beating the Heat, Part I

  First day of summer and the weather responded by climbing into the 90s replete with humidity. Lovely. I’m much better at running in cold weather than I am in heat. At least in cold my body gradually warms up to a point where I’m comfortable running. In the heat, however, it’s easy for your body to overheat and that can be dangerous if not fatal. Yikes!

Here are some tips I’ve gleaned over the years and try to implement throughout the dog days of summer:

1. Run early in the morning – This tends to be the coolest part of the day before the sun has baked the world all day.

2. Dress smart – Wearing light colors that will reflect the sun’s rays away and loose fitting clothing that breathes as you run. Also, fabrics other than cotton that will wick away sweat and keep you cool are a great idea too.

3. Water, water everywhere – Drink. Water. Lots of it. Your body craves more water more in the heat and the more hydrated you are the more your body will function as it should without shutting down. Shutting down bad. Water good!

4. Choose your path wisely – Asphalt radiates heat in the summer and while you probably won’t endure the sneaker-melting stories that you hear from the Badwater Ultramarathon it definitely will make your hot runs even hotter. If you know it’s going to be a hot, muggy day and the only time you can run is after work, choose a trail instead of hitting the road. You can find shade and running surfaces that reflect more heat than they absorb.

5. Protect your skin – Don’t forget to wear sunscreen whenever you go out. Sunglasses also help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

6. When all else fails, run (egad!) inside – Treadmills are often not the best friend of the outdoor runner, but when the mercury rises and the humidity envelopes you like a blanket it might be the smartest choice.

Remember your safety is your top priority. Training is key, but training smart is even better. Stay cool and happy running! 😀

  1. Good things to keep in mind! I live in Florida, and I have nearly been the victim of overheating before, and not just when running. Great post.

    • Brian Beatty
    • June 20th, 2012

    great post!

  2. These are good tips even when not running.

  3. Thanks, I love to run!

  4. Ehhh, when it gets hot and humid out, I say HTFU! 😛 A good portion of my path has turned to deep, soft sand, given the lack of rain (it poured last night, so there should be some nice deep and sticky mud to run through). When it is insanely hot while you’re running, and you feel like the heat is closing in on you can you nearing the point of collapsing, how about stopping for a minute and walking? I run for myself, so it is easy for me to justify that, since I do not have some quota to meet. I also feel a little bit more hardcore when its really hot out, because a lot people will not be out running then.

  5. I’m new to running and I live in N.TX, so I’m ready to practice these safety tips as our temps rise to triple digits next week. 🙂

  6. Good tips. It’s too hot to run here today! 92 degrees @ 48% humidity = blazing hot!

  7. been running at 6 in the morning. it’s always hard waking up, but as usual, glad to have done it.

    • everytime I want to wake up early but hard to do it .a lot of alarm clock around me~~~~

  8. I agree that running in the cold is better! There are only so many articles of clothing that one can take off in the heat!


  9. Reblogged this on sallyann16.

  10. Great post. I love running outside, but with the hot summer days like we’ve been having here in NY, it’s not quite as enjoyable. Thanks for the tip about choosing where to run. : )

  11. Thanks so much for the great tips! I’m a new runner and didn’t thinking about the asphalt paths. The temp is close to 100 here in MD so these tips will come in great this summer!

  12. I’m not a runner, but I will share that my AWESOME elliptical in my air-conditioned office works great — and it has a fan.


    But yes, I do miss the views, the people and the sweat…

  13. … means a start in a Queensland summer for the longer runs because by 6.45 am it’s already getting too hot!! it’s a great part of the day to be out though!

  14. In triple digit heat the only way to run is on a treadmill in a gym. Great post 🙂

  15. I always try to run early, usually before dawn.

  16. I also don’t do well in heat, and it’s not *really* hot where I live and run. But the gradual climatization to any hot(ter) weather is necessary and these are great practical tips.
    happy running!

    • comer,amar,rezar
    • June 21st, 2012

    Reblogged this on comeramarrezar.

  17. I love your timely advice…it’s so easy to lace up and mess up. Heat takes a toll no matter how far or fast you go. Adjusting your schedule to run earlier rather than later is my personal take away.

  18. Nice post. The one thing I might add is, when it’s reeaallly hot, it’s OK to shorten your work out or cut back on the intensity. Personally, I much prefer to stay outside rather than use a treadmill. If you stay outside, little by little you’ll grow accustomed to the heat. Good for those 5k’s on summer evenings.

  19. nice acticle

    • Jenny
    • June 21st, 2012

    Great ideas! I do so hate the treadmill.

  20. Great tips. I’ve been dehydrated or chose to be out the wrong time of day. It’s good to keep these things in mind.

  21. Great advice! I just ran my first 5K and I want to keep training all summer so I can keep at it, but it’s so hard in the heat. Thanks for the motivation!

    • townsendlee
    • June 21st, 2012

    Terrific advice – and I wish I’d read it sooner. Your comments about asphalt running would have come in handy this morning when I left my apartment at 9:20 a.m. thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad. Whooee! I ran/walked my route – more walk than run. I should’ve picked the trail. This Sunday is my first 5k – starts at 8 a.m. Hoping for cooler temps. Thanks for the clothing advice to. I’ll keep that in mind. 🙂


  22. Awesome tips. I can’t wait for the weather to de-freeze down here in Melbourne. It’s FREEZING 😐

  23. I just started running myself with my boyfriend. The farthest I’ve ran is only 1.5 m, but slowly I will get there. I prefer the weight training at the gym myself.
    Trying to get great looking abs! :))))

  24. thanks for your info

    it’s very healthy

  25. First: Many congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. This post definitely deserves it. I’m new to running, and since I live in the Canary Islands I also don’t have to run in the cold. The things you mention apply here all year round, but even so you can’t repeat them often enough. People get complacent and then get into trouble. Thanks for the reminder.

  26. Reblogged this on Experdon.

    • Reclaiming My Sexy
    • June 22nd, 2012

    Reblogged this on Reclaiming My Sexy and commented:
    Awesome information!

  27. I so wish I could physically run. Curse you crappy knees!

    Congrats on the Fress Press!

  28. I’m outa shape. If you’re not running come visit my site

  29. Another thing is to become acclimatised. As well as running I cycle too. And similar to beating the heat, I also have to contend with hayfever (which I wrote about here: ) One thing that helps me achieve this is to run/cycle throughout the year. Lots of people seem to stay indoors throughout the not so nice weather and the grey days, only then to go from that extreme to being out in the warm sunshine of the other. Enjoy all weather and all seasons, and the changes will be less sudden allowing your body and your ability to cope to change too.

  30. An important aspect of hydration is to make sure you are always well hydrated. If you have a run scheduled in the heat tomorrow, drink lots today.

    • the12thhoop
    • June 22nd, 2012

    Tis a grand soft Irish day here in Dublin….rain and a cool 11c this morning…I’d love a bit of sticky weather to run in!

    • sarahsjoys
    • June 22nd, 2012

    I’m training for my first Half Marathon! The last run I did the temperatures started rising (FAR too early in the morning for my liking!) and I remember thinking…I’m going to have to start bringing water, even on my short runs! If you want to check out my running posts, they are at: I can’t believe I’m saying this because I have always preferred warm weather to cold, but I think I prefer running in cold weather as well. I was pretty proud of myself for getting out for a run in 22 degree F weather this year! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!!

    • drjeff7
    • June 22nd, 2012

    I am trying to figure out the running thing. It is hard to get going, but the tips you provided are great. Thanks

    • revelationtoo
    • June 22nd, 2012

    Thanks for the tips. Running is an excellent way to stay healthy!

  31. GREAT tips! I try to always run before 9 am to beat the sun, but sometimes I actually want to go run after work. So what I do is just cut back on the mileage if I run in the hottest part of the day.

    I also drink soaked chia seeds before I run on really hot days, because I swear the chia-goo helps keep me a little better hydrated than water alone.

  32. Thanks for these! Short and simple, but (even though I haven’t tried it yet) sounds effective.

    • Gyro
    • June 22nd, 2012

    I always run on suburbs away from the city center where the heat is on on a grass athletic field

    • MadeForVictory
    • June 22nd, 2012

    I live in Florida too and boy is it hot! I’m going sprinting today and will be traing smart!

  33. Very Nice Post…good advice here;)

    • Narek
    • June 22nd, 2012

    I enjoy running while the weather’s cool, like most of the commentators here, but I find night-time running more pleasant. For starters I don’t have to wake up early, usually because I sleep late. I also have a better vision of where the cars are because they have their lights on; that way I can tell if there is a car behind me or not. Running at night also helps me clear my mind if I have been stuck on some problem. Lastly, I enjoy using up my energy at night and calling it a day.

  34. I’ve been finding it tough to run in 100+ degree heat, but I think I’m going to start waking up super early in the morning to beat the heat!

    Great post! 🙂

  35. Muy buenos consejos!!!

  36. The heat is tough so I get out as early as I can too. The temp rises quite quickly as soon as the sun starts rising. There is something that feels really great when you have your run done before breakfast. It is my favorite time to get out there.

  37. I recommend eating a half a bagel, too! I am not hungry first thing, but I’f I’m running 4 miles through humid air, I find I need that boost halfway through.

    • Amanda
    • June 23rd, 2012

    One trick that my running partner and I have is that we pick a route that has an option to take a short cut if we are feeling overheated. If we’re still feeling good by the time we get to the short cut turn off, we keep going for our full run.

  38. running and eating healthily…both helps your body

    • yosephvera
    • June 23rd, 2012

    thank you for the nice post. keep running

  39. Really nice post – unfortunately I live in the north of England and rarely have to worry about keeping cool in the heat! It’s all about the layers up here…

    • Sean Breslin
    • June 23rd, 2012

    Great hints…a pre-breakfast run is usually a good run!

  40. I actually prefer running in the sun! the heating up and extra sweating make me feel like Im working much harder than usual, but still good tips!

    • tartarsandteacups
    • June 23rd, 2012

    Awesome- as a former cross-country runner in school in North Carolina, I couldn’t agree more with these tips! Awesome!

  41. Sweet post! Being an outdoor runner myself I agree with everything here! I just have trouble getting out of bed in the morning! 🙂

    • Joe Labriola
    • June 23rd, 2012

    Nice tips. Run well!

  42. Great post… My only concern is that you haven’t addressed the VERY real danger of OVER-Hydration, or hypanotremia. I have a brief write up on about it. There actually is a such thing as TOO much water, especially when training outdoors during the hot summer months

  43. Hi Samantha! Where are you running at? I’m in Florida, so even if I get up in the early morning to run…it is HOT! And humid… I run mostly inside, but agree with all your tips. Great post!

  44. I was just thinking about this. Thanks for the reminder! Gotta love the summer heat and dehydration (not).

    • esky25
    • June 24th, 2012

    Great tips. I usually run in the evenings also to avoid the heat. The drawback is that it gets very dark and drivers have a hard time seeing runners. Reflective clothing and/or lights help a lot.

  45. I agree with all of these tips 🙂 I also find myself not being able to push myself as far when it’s hot. I just feel like I’m going to die of dehydration!!

  46. Reblogged this on The Fashion Sports World.

  47. So many people like running ,actually I love running a lot and keep for a long time .thx for your good tips ,it is really good ~

    • Alyssa
    • June 25th, 2012

    Thanks for this tips Sam. If only I’m not that lazy to run and workout – gotta push myself a bit harder. 🙂

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  48. Reblogged this on HealthyLivingWithAnIllness and commented:
    Some great tips on beating the heat for running in the summer or a hot climate.

    • docerx
    • June 25th, 2012

    se qualchuno è interessato al guadagno online li consiglio di dare una occhiata al mio blog grazie 🙂

  49. run run run are the keywords during the sun sun sun 🙂

  50. Great tips! Thank you.

    • Kiya Krier – Runs With Blisters
    • June 25th, 2012

    Great, straight-forward information. Things that make sense when you think about them. Unfortunately, I am usually the idiot that goes, “Hey, let’s go for a run!” Without thinking about the fact that it’s 3 in the afternoon and almost 100 degrees out. Then I wonder why I want to die 1/2 way through. Oops!

  51. indeed – I’ve found I can run decent distance in the heat, just much more slowly than I could if it were cooler. Hydration has a lot to do with that. I wish I could get up that early. I haven’t been able to jump that 5:30 Snooze Button hurdle just yet! Now that it’s “hot as blue blazes” (according to my Mammaw), it’s probably worth a try again. I might just dislike it less than I do the ‘mills. 🙂

  52. Great tips, thanks! Perfect for the super high temps this part of the country’s been facing. Whew. I’m with you getting out there early (or end of day) and staying hydrated.

  1. June 27th, 2012
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