I've struggled through a number of my runs this summer. The weather in the Northeast, where I live, has been incredibly hot and humid, which, of course, makes outdoor running more of a challenge.
Recently, we've seen a steady wave of temperatures in the 90s, but I don't want to skip my workouts altogether just because of the heat. Instead, I get smart about my summer running (safety first!) and keep a few things in mind in order to make my runs a little cooler.
Run at the very beginning or end of the day
When you're planning when to run, be sure to check the weather report for the upcoming week. Some days might be cooler in the early morning or around dusk, so try to plan your workouts accordingly. My favorite way to beat the heat is running in the early-morning when the summer temps are at their lowest.
Pick a cooler route
Instead of running my usual 3-mile loop on hot asphalt near my house, I move my run to cooler routes by the water (lakes, rivers, and oceans are usually cooler and breezier) or parks with covered trails and plenty of shade.
Wear a visor
You probably already know that you should wear light colored, moisture-wick clothing for your summer workouts, but adding a light-weight visor can help keep you even cooler. Instead of wearing a thick, fabric hat, try a breathable visor, which will block the sun from your face and allow heat to escape through your head, both of which will help keep you cool.
Plan some sprinklers into your run
Do some of your neighbors water their lawns in the morning before they leave for work? Plan your running route to pass by their house a couple of times so you can run through their sprinklers and cool off a little bit. As long as you don't trample their grass, I'm sure they won't mind!
Hit the treadmill
Sometimes, it’s just too hot to run outside. When this happens, I take my run indoors to an air-conditioned gym where I can run on the treadmill. Running indoors is better than skipping my workout altogether. Plus, I'm a lot more comfortable than I would be outside in the hot summer sun!
Carry water with you
Staying hydrated is especially important during summer workouts, so I drink extra water before, during, and after I run. I also carry water with me on my long runs (I use a handheld water bottle or a water belt), so I can hydrate (or even pour it on my head) to cool off.
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.