This morning, I had planned to do a 1-hour interval run, but it was already 90°F at 10 am. Summer running can be pretty brutal here in the Central Valley, so I have to be flexible. I decided that I’ll hit the gym later today for today’s workout. I will do some summer workouts outdoors because it’s good to train in different environments, but if I have the choice, I am definitely a cool weather runner. I don’t do well in the heat, I have problems with swelling and overheating, but oh well, I live in a place that gets pretty hot in the summer, so I have to adapt.
Here are 5 summer running tips (in case it’s hot where you are, too).
1. I run early or late to avoid the hottest hours of the day for an outdoor run.
2. I adjust my pace. I know, I am preaching to the choir here, but if it’s hot outside, your pace should automatically be slower. I don’t care if my training plan calls for a tempo run at a certain pace. If it’s hot, I adjust my pace and run by effort. I’ve seen many recommendations online and I don’t’ think there is a one-size-fits-all approach, but Hansons Coaching has these general recommendations to adjust your pace when temperatures rise:
- 55-60 degrees = +5 secs/mile
- 60-65 degrees= +15 secs/mile
- 65-70 degrees = +30 secs/mile
- 70-75 degrees = +40 secs/mile
- 75-80 degrees = +1:10/mile
- 80-85 degrees = +2:00/mile
- 85+ degrees = DON’T DO IT (<–that’s why I am going to the gym!)
3. I wear light, breathable clothing and sunscreen. Obviously, you want to wear as little as possible when it’s really hot outside, but make sure that your skin is protected too!
4. I bring water (or make sure that there are plenty of drinking fountains along my running route) and I’ve been experimenting with salt tablets. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you have to hydrate as much as possible when you’re training in a hot environment because you’ll be losing sweat and electrolytes pretty fast. Also, it’s nice to be able to splash some water on your face/head/hands when it’s really hot to cool down a bit.
5. If in doubt, I opt for an indoor run on the treadmill. I know, I know, a lot of people hate the treadmill, but when the temperature hits the triple digits (as it often does here in the summer), the air-conditioned gym is the safest place to exercise (at least as far as I am concerned).
What’s your number one piece of advice to run in the heat?