Baby, it’s hot outside! OK, maybe I shouldn’t complain because my Tuesdays on the Run partners in crime, April and Patty, live in Florida and Arizona. They know hot. But since our topic for the week is hot weather running, I’m going to talk to you about my training plans and give you some tips on how to survive running in the heat.
Somehow I went from wearing this:
to wearing this:
in what feels like two days.
And, no, I’m not going to suggest taking a training hiatus. I know that’s been my choice for the last few summers, but I have 6 half marathons in 6 days in September (really? what was I thinking?) and Marine Corps Marathon in October. I’m going to go a little unconventional for my marathon training this time – I’m looking at the Hanson plan which has 5-6 days a week of running, with two high mileage days, but tops out at 16 miles. Thanks to my back to back marathons, I have confidence that I can keep running when I’m tired, so I’m thinking Hanson is a better option for me. (OK, also, the thought of 18-20 miles in Virginia heat kind of makes me want to cry.)
So, as I prepare to kick off summer of training, here are some things I’ve learned over the years as a Virginia runner.
1. Give your body time to acclimate. I find that short runs in the hottest part of the late spring/early summer days help me handle the hot weather faster. I try to get out there as much as possible in the high 70s and 80s, so that when the 90s hit, I’m at least partially adapted. (We aren’t going to talk about the fact that Virginia totally didn’t allow for that this spring – we went straight from winter to summer.)
2. Go early, go late, or go slow. Obviously, early and late give you (somewhat, sometimes) cooler temps, but most importantly they offer a chance to run without the sun beating down on you. At the very least, the sun is at an angle. If you are lucky, this means a good bit of shade. Lunchtime the only time you can run? Don’t plan your speedwork at that time. Heat already raises your temperature and heart rate. Putting additional stress by pushing hard can result in light headedness, dehydration, and potentially heat stroke.
3. Have a hydration plan. I carry liquid with me in a handheld bottle. I know that my one bottle will not last me through double digit runs in the summer, so I’ll either be swinging back past my house or past one of the area parks to hit the water fountain. Either way, I’ll be planning my route to make that possible.
4. Have a cooling plan. Just like in winter running when I recommend knowing where you can stop to warm up if necessary, knowing where you can cool off is key. Sometimes we misjudge how warm it really is or the sun is strong or there is no breeze. Any of these can result in a warmer run than anticipated and the need to bring your core temp down. I know pretty much where all the libraries, grocery stores, and “spray grounds”are in my area and I try to never be more than a mile or two from one of those options.
5. Choose a training plan that works with your schedule. One of the reasons (of many) that I’m considering a plan with a lower mileage long run is that I know that I will frequently be running during the hottest part of the day. I’m going to be juggling camps, my job, and the boys at home and will need to be flexible about when I start my runs. Running 20 miles in the Virginia heat does not in any way excite me. Running 20 miles in the Virginia heat during the middle of the day could be dangerous.
6. Dress Appropriately. Skirt or shorts, tank top, sunglasses, hat! And sunscreen! Don’t forget the sunscreen! Make sure you put the sunscreen on early enough that it totally soaks in. Sunscreen + sweat in the eyes is pretty much a modern day torture.
6. Use a watch or app that allows you to track your workouts. I train by mileage, not time, when I run, so if I have to modify my route due to heat, I want to know how that changed my mileage. Kohl’s recently sent me a Timex Ironman Run X20 Digital GPS Watch from their active watches collection to try out. It’s a GPS enabled watch and is just one of their many Timex options. The plan I’m using calls for specific paces. I may be adjusting those paces (slower) to account for heat, but I’ll still have goals of time and distance when I head out. The Timex Run X20 is an easy to use watch that will provide me with that information.
[Tweet “Want to keep running in the summer heat? Here are some tips to do it safely! #trainwithKohls #runchat”]
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Disclaimer: Kohl’s provided me with the watch to try, as well as the watch to giveaway. All opinions and advice are my own.
72 thoughts on “TOTR: Hot weather running + Timex GPS watch giveaway”
I find running by HR also helps me judge how hard I’m working. Just because my plan has a certain pace, hot temps often mean I never hit them. Run by effort vs pace.
There’s nothing better than a frosty beer for rehydration after a hot run…
I live in Florida as well! I thought about running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach in September…until I realized how miserable I’d be trying to train through the prime summer months here in Florida. Last year I began training for a half in August and that was torture enough, lol.
Tip #4 is a really good one, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. I will definitely be rethinking my routes so that they incorporate “cool down” stops.
Thanks for hosting 🙂
Running early in the day is key for me to avoid overheating during runs. I always feel so slow and sluggish during hot summer runs and feel like I’m not progressing. Ugh.
Great tips! Acclimatization is definitely underrated…running in the heat is tough, but I’m glad that I haven’t been skipping my runs in the late afternoon even when it’s 85 degrees or so…it does gradually get easier!
I find I get used to it after a few weeks. I switch to really cold gatorade on runs which helps mostly I just embrace the sweat. Nice giveaway!
Awesome tips! I love running in hot weather!
I can’t imagine running during the day. You are a tough cookie. I feel like I never acclimate to summer running.
Oh I remember those DC summers! Humidity is my kryptonite! You bring up an excellent point about modifying your plan in the summer due to the heat. It gives you more of an opportunity to be successful by planning for what you know will be difficult conditions. Stay cool, Erika!
Girl went from cold gear to half naked running!!!
Have a great week!
On hot days I carry larger water bottle and use some water to squirt my head to cool down
Yeah I’m a heat weenie. I find freezing my drink bottles and keeping them in a cooler for when I loop around keeps me fresher.
Participating for the first time – my blog really isn’t ready for prime time yet but I decided to go for it anyway – thanks for the opportunity & hopefully I got it right.
I do not envy you running in VA! We visited Williamsburg a few yrs back & even tho it was only June, it was in the 90s. I did still run.
Its so important to slow down during the summer. Getting to the finish line, no matter how much you have to slow down, should be a runner’s only focus.
I carry water when I run in the heat. And I use DRIP DROP which is a medical grade rehydration powder.
I live near Annapolis, Maryland and the summer heat and humidity are out of this world most days. I try to get up early and run before it gets too obnoxiously hot out there 🙂
because I don’t run with water I ALWAYS know where there are water fountains on my runs and plan the routes based off of them!
My best tip is to go running in the early morning hours. It is cooler less traffic on the roadways. Also, make sure you have plenty of water with you before you start.
I just make sure to get out early in the morning.
Sadly, I have to acclimatize to running in the middle of the day for my 70.3 . Such a big difference from running in the early early am like I always used to.
Sometimes when it gets too hot for me during a run I will go into a grocery store to cool off. Love the freezer section during this time.
I’m testing out the Timex watch, too! Went for my first run with it this morning 🙂
I can not run or walk fast when it is hot outside, and when the sun is blaring.. I get up first thing when it is cool out at 7am and walk or run. I bring my water bottle, and dress down. I think it is not very good to run in the direct blazing sun because of skin cancer.
I try to avoid the heat at all costs, not by not running, but by getting up SUPER early to run in the coolest part of the day. It takes a while to get used to the early morning if you’re not used to it, but I think it is by far worth it! Plus there are less cars and it’s an absolutely gorgeous part of the day. Then you can spend the rest of the day rehydrating 🙂 Oh, and “ice baths” in the ocean are a beautiful thing!
Hydration is key!!!! Also – don’t be afraid to slow your pace.
Try running on a shade side.
I run earlier in the mornings on hot days and take a large container of water with me.
I love your tips! My only tip i really have is have a water bottle with you with cold water inside, it always helps me cool down when running.
I live in SC and my biggest tip is to adjust training for the hotter days. If you have to, skip a run and do spin class or another form of training… swimming maybe? Or hit the treadmill if you have to. Also wear a road ID, you never know what can happen.
I like to fill my hydration pack the night before about half way and freeze it. Then in the morning I top it off and it cools me off while I’m running!
I have a tough time running with HR and tend to go by percieved exertion. Got my first hot run in today, lots of water to hydrate after!
I find that giving myself time to acclimate to the weather before entering my prime training time works well for me, too. If I do short, easy runs at the beginning of the summer, I’m much cooler and able to run harder on more difficult runs later in the summer.
When I ran the LA Marathon this year temperatures got into the 90s. My husband met me at several points along the course with a cooler of frozen washcloths/towels. It felt amazing to place them over my head and around my neck to cool off. I also saw several runners using Frogg Toggs cooling towels.
I would definitely say dress accordingly, bring an electrolyte drink, slow down, and walk if you need to!
I love in South GA, so it is hot and humid right away. I go super early
Drink Lot’s Of Water And Don’t Forget Sunscreen!
I live in PA and it’s so hot! I don’t know how people who live in places like FL/AZ do it! I know, we shouldn’t complain…a few months ago it was “too cold”! :p
I definitely think acclimation is key. Right now, it feels tough to run when it’s sunny, humid and getting hot, but it’s because I’m used to cooler winter temps and I need to get used to sunshine again! As a side note, I used the Hansons Marathon Method to train for my second marathon, which is next Saturday!
With triple digit temps for several months in the summer, I have learned to get my run in VERY early in the morning. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
Wow I love the idea of the cooling plan – I never thought of that! Such a great idea for when you’re overheated, plus then you can go in for a drink of water too. Thanks for the tips!
these are all great tips! its pretty sad but in Toronto i’m still waiting for it to get warm so i can actually implement some of these! Whyyyy hasn’t summer come for us yet 🙁
I like the suggestion of finding a place to cool off! You’re right – that would definitely help. I’ve ducked into a local grocery store before to refill my water bottle when it was super hot but maybe need to incorporate that kind of stop more often in the summer time.
Morning runs, drink lots of water, cool down by soaking my hat with water
In hot weather, I like to run in the evening and take extra water.
WOW I could not imagine running in 20 miles in the heat. I live in Florida and it’s already hot by 8am! Good luck running your 6 half marathons in 6 days!
I run with a cooling towel. It really helps me out when I have to do a long run in the early mornings
Hydrating properly always make a world of a difference
Wear lightweight clothing and lighter colors
Early morning runs to beat the heat. The earlier the better 🙂
I always run with a Nathan handheld filled with water and Nuun. I usually put it in the freezer an hour before my run to make it very cold. If i don’t have that much time before a run, I add ice.
My hot weather tips are to try and plan to run a route that is in the shade and to bring a hydration backpack with you- it’s worth it.
Staying hydrated throughout the day.
Goal: drinking half your body weight in ounces of water.
Staying hydrated throughout the day.
Goal: drinking half your body weight in ounces of water.
hydrate! I also find summer a good time to catch up on a lot of other activity…swim, yoga, barre, etc.
Get out early! It’s the only way.
Monitor water intake and stay in the shade!
I run early in the day.
Sometimes I just want to pack up and move to vancouver – mild weather year round!
Run early, make sure your sodium levels are good
I’m a relatively new runner, but the one tip I have beyond staying hydrated, running early, etc… is to choose shady routes if possible. Out of the 8-10 routes in my neighborhood, there are 2-3 that are partially shaded depending on the time of day.
My tip is to go as early in the morning as possible!
My tip is planning ahead with hydration and food. Making sure that you’re drinking a lot of liquid to hydrate your body
Go early in the morning, bring a water bottle, wear plenty of sunscreen
Find shade and drink lots of water
I always run early in the mornings!
I always start early. The heat just drains me. Another thing I do is put a wet towel on me
I always wear breathable clothing
A good summer running tip is run early and with a water pack to stay hydrated when it is hot out!!!
My summer running tip is to run with the wind in the beginning and against the wind towards the end of the run to let the wind cool you off.
Running early morning in shady areas works best for me. Love the quote about earning “Fall PRs from summer sweat” – Totally!!
Always get out early during those hot days and take lots of water or drop bottles along your route for you to run to.
Love the watch. I recently bought and love it!