Running Tips For The Summer

Running tips for the summer (Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock)
Running tips for the summer (Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock)

Summer’s sunshine is great for BBQs and pool parties, but the heat and humidity can make running a difficult pursuit. This makes learning some tips for running in the summer more important than, say, catching the playoff game on TV, unless of course, you happen to enjoy grueling runs and hitting the wall. Six tips that’ll help you survive running through the dog days of summer.

Be smart about scheduling your runs

Ideally, run at dawn or after sunset when the weather is cooler. If this is not possible given your lifestyle or jampacked schedule, plan your running route so that you’re in an area that offers some shade — think of neighbourhoods or parks with tall trees or skyscrapers. On particularly hot and humid days, consider taking your run onto the treadmill in an air-conditioned gym.

Dress to beat the heat

Buy some running gear in lightweight technical fabrics that are loose fitting. The technical fabrics will help wick sweat away from your body to help keep you feeling cooler. Look for pieces in light colours rather than black, which’ll absorb heat.

Wear sunscreen

With the sun beating down, and much of your body exposed in run gear, protecting your skin with some SPF is non-negotiable. Use a sport version of at least SPF 30 (if you use a regular variety, you’ll have it streaming into your eyes with your sweat, which stings). Further protect your face and eyes from UV rays with a lightweight cap and a pair of running glasses with UV lenses.

Hydrate and replenish your electrolytes

Incorporate a plan into your running routine that calls for you to drink water and maintain your electrolyte levels regularly; just winging it or waiting until you feel thirsty and you risk hitting the wall. Use your walk break every 10 minutes to take a few sips, for example, or choose landmarks along your route as your cue to take a gel.

Keep cool with water

Make sure you have enough water in your bottle to last you through your run, but if you have some you can spare — or if you come across a water fountain — pour some on top of your head or splash your arms and upper body with some to help refresh and cool off slightly.

Adjust your expectations

It’s understandable that seeing your pace slow down is disappointing, but it’s just something you have to accept. In the heat, your perceived effort will be greater and it’s unrealistic to expect your performance to be the same as in the cooler spring temperatures. In any case, you can take solace that every runner in your city is similarly being affected by the weather and simply focus on adapting to the elements

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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