Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Deal with Warm Weather Running

Even though it may not technically be summer yet, you know it's on the way. In fact, here in San Diego it's warmed up 20 degrees over the past 2 days. If it's going to be this warm this soon, there's no better time to go over warm-weather running tips. Warm-weather running doesn't have to be your enemy as long as you take some steps to prepare for each run. Here are a few things to keep in mind when running in the warm weather.

Before we get started, this part is of the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up with My No-Guilt LifeMCM Mama Runs and Run the Great Wide Somewhere. When you're done reading here, be sure to check them out!

Give yourself eight to 14 days to acclimatize to hot weather. In that time, your body will learn to decrease heart rate, decrease core temperature, and increase sweat rate. What this means is that it's important to recognize that it will take up to two weeks of consistently running in warm weather before you feel like it isn't a struggle to get through your run. Until then, remind yourself that it's hot and don't be discouraged. You'll get through it.

Run slower than you would in cooler weather. Don't expect to run at the same pace as you do in cooler weather; it's not possible in the heat. There are plenty of theories as to what pace you should run depending on various temperatures and humidity levels, but just know that you should expect to run about 2-5 minutes slower when the temperature reaches 80*F and there is at least 60% humidity. Listen to your body, slow your pace and walk when necessary.

Hydrate appropriately before, during, and after your run. Remember, drink well all day, every day. Not just when you know you're going to run. An option is to wear a hydration belt rather than carry a water bottle. Your arms may get tired or stiff while carrying a water bottle, which can actually affect your running form. Try a belt that has a built-in holder for a water bottle and bring some water or sports drink with you. If you hate running with a hydration belt, think about a hydration vest or other system for your back.

Run at the coolest time of day, usually in the morning before or just after sunrise. Running along the coast will be cooler than running inland. Take it to the beach if possible! When the temps get too hot, take your workout indoors if you can.

Try to run in the shade to avoid the heat from the sun. This is pretty difficult in our area, but not completely impossible. Alter your route to maximize shade. Again, take it to the treadmill if you can't avoid the blazing sun.

Wear light fabrics and as little as possible to encourage evaporation of sweat. Don't forget: cotton is rotten and cotton clothing will absorb sweat and keep it next to your skin. This will feel horrible and prevent heat from leaving your skin, actually making you feel hotter! Remember, anything that touches your skin should be non-cotton, so that means shorts, undergarments and socks too!

Wear a vented, moisture-wicking hat or a visor while on the run. This keeps the sun off your head and face and the sun out of your eyes. Run-of-the-mill baseball caps are not moisture-wicking and will hold the heat in against your head, making you much hotter than necessary. Try a cool, ventilated hat or visor and you'll feel the difference immediately. If a hat is not your thing, at least wear sunglasses. Most sport sunglasses like Tifosi and Rudy Project are light as air, have slip-proof nose pieces so they don't slide around when you sweat and have lenses with UVA/UVB protection.

Wear sunscreen. It's interesting that while we would never head to the beach or pool without sunscreen, most of us forget to put sunscreen on before a run. But because we're outside for an extended period of time, it's important to apply sunscreen to decrease our chances of developing skin cancer. There are tons of water- and sweat-proof sunscreens available now, even some you can apply when you're already sweaty. Take the extra 30 seconds to lather up before you head out!

What are your favorite ways to deal with warm weather running? 


  1. running at noon "Runching" would not work?! Sigh!

    1. It can work but it will just be hotter and possibly a little harder than running at other times of the day.

  2. Since I tend to sweat buckets, I take Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes capsules (as a supplement to a sports drink) in hot or humid weather.

    1. Yes, additional sports drink/electrolytes are helpful when sweating buckets ;) By determining your sweat rate, you can see how much additional fluids/electrolytes you need.

  3. I am bad at getting up and running in the morning. I love to sleep in but then I regret it when I'm out on my run at noon. I got to work on that this summer.