Tips for Running in the Summer Heat

Summer has hit most of us hard with some wicked hot temperatures so far and it's only the beginning. So let's share some tips to help us fellow runners/fitness-freaks keep running (or even doing your usual workout routine outside) without showing any mercy to the summer heat!  So here are some tips gathered up from the VP staff from the internet and from ourselves:

 

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Clothes/Accessories

Wear a hat, visor or sunglasses to help hide from the sun (thus protecting your eyes and from getting sunburnt), and can also help with reducing and/or accumulating) sweat (excluding sunglasses).
Side-tip: Toss an ice cube in your hat to help keep your head cool, especially since that's where most of your heat is gathered.

Or wear a headband if you still want enjoy the sun with still handling the sweat factor. Any other types of specific sweatbands are also gainful as well.

Dress loose, and dress light in weight and in colors! Make sure you're wearing light and breathable clothing; Tri-blend, polyester, dri-cotton, or spandex (generally spandex only if it's hybrid-type clothing) are a few materials that are preferred for breathability and sweat-wicking. Not sure what tri-blend is? It's a hybrid between polyester (50% or so), cotton (35% or so), and rayon (15% or so). So it offers the best of all worlds. Polyester retains shape and elasticity; Cotton lends both comfort and durability; addition of Rayon makes for a unique texture and drapes against the body for a deceiving tight look. Deceiving because it looks tight, but feels and breaths like it's loose.

Clothing that also have the mesh feature (mostly on the sides and back) are a lifesaver and feel great when a breeze hits you.

 

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Body/Skin

Water. Obvious, but we still need to list its importance. It's the least it deserves! Hydration backpacks, carrying a water bottle around with you, know where water fountains are located in current area are a great way to stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated helps keeps us going and prevents heatstroke and other harmful effects the the heat and sun can have on us.  You don't have to limit yourself to just water; Fuze's, Powerade are a few other beverages we recommend.
Side-tip: Run from park to park, then you don't have to carry any water, and just fuel up when you run pass a water fountain.

Sunscreen, or moisturize post-workout. Sunscreen protects your skin, but if you're like some of us who want a nice tan, use moisturizer to repair your skin and to prevent skin-peeling.
Tip: Look for a moisturizer that contains aloe since it's very beneficial, especially for repairing damaged skin.

Prevent heat rash, which usually occurs on areas of your skin that aren't covered by breathable clothing. Quickly wash those areas, forearms for example, when you get the chance to. A cold cloth resting on areas prone to heat rash (depends on your attire), or removing the sweat with a dry cloth can help keep your skin breathing normally, allowing it to sweat without any pours being clogged. When your pores get clogged and your body needs to sweat, heat rash comes in to play, since your sweat has to go somewhere, it comes up through the skin almost like a it's a 'skin bubble'. That's enough about this, let's move on.

 

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General Tips

Run early in the morning or late at night. It's cooler then, and also less sun, which means the UV index will be at its low for the day. Runnin early in the morning also gets you up early, and it a great way to start the day. Running late at night helps you get rid of any energy you might have before going to sleep, resulting in a good sleep; either one works, pick two if you're up to it!

Know the symptoms of heatstroke. Lack of sweating, flushed skin, muscle cramps or weakness, etc.

Brush/floss/rinse your teeth before going out. Keeps your mouth feeling clean, it's the little things that can add up and raise your comfort levels., allowing for a more enjoyable workout. No one likes swiping your tongue against your teeth when running, and having them feel dirty/scummy for the rest of the run, especially since that feeling will always be stuck in the back of your mind. 

Pre-soak your shirt in water before going out. We wouldn't recommend pre-soaking your shorts/pants, since that makes it more prone to chafing, but having your shirt soaking with cool water helps keeps you cool longer and feels refreshing.

The shade is your friend. Knowing a shady park or trail can really help you keep you cool and protect you from the harsh sun. 

Just do it. Don't let the heat win!

 

And note from another VP Editor, Alex: If you live in a desert. Get ready to do your runs before sunrise or in the middle of the night. Why?! Because by 10AM it will be 100F.

 

Feel free to share your own tips to beat the heat in the comment section below.