Tips for Running in the Heat

Rising temperatures can can stop runners in their tracks without the right gear or prepbecome a runner's worst enemy without the proper gear and prep work. Learn how you can help beat the heat on your next run.

Running outdoors can be scenic, motivating and inspiring. But what do you do when the temperature begins to rise?

By keeping a few tips in mind, you can make the most of your warm-weather runs during those dog days of summer.

PREPARATION MATTERS

Make sure you’re ready with the appropriate running attire. Avoid clothing made of cotton, which can trap heat and sweat, and instead opt for loose, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics.

Wear light colors rather than dark.

Consider wearing a pair of sunglasses. Your sunglasses should be practical, so look for a pair of sports-performance shades that are designed with movement in mind. Hats and visors are also great accessories to wear to help shield your face and head from the sun.

And don’t forget sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. Make sure to use a sweat proof variety as well as SPF 30 or higher.

THE EARLY (OR LATE) BIRD GETS THE BURN

Consider the time of day you are running.

“My first choice is to head out early in the morning, or later in the evening,” said DICK’S Sporting Goods Associate Cathy Connor, who has nearly 30 marathons under her belt.

Some people might like to go on a run during their lunch break, but just keep in mind that early afternoon is normally the hottest part of the day.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Take your location into account as well.

“I prefer a shady location with lots of trees,” Connor said.

Parks can be a good option for a summer run as they tend to offer plenty of shade and typically have water fountains throughout the park.

“Trails are also a great option for me, because it’s mostly all shade, and it’s a nice change from running on asphalt or road,” Connor said.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

Water is your friend. Your best friend.

Drink before you set out on your run and once you’re finished. You should also have water with you during your run. Whether you choose to use a water belt or pack or have a convenient handheld bottle that straps to your hand, carry water with you on hot days.

For a cold burst of refreshment, fill your bottle with ice. You can either add ice to your water or fill up a bottle and freeze it. The ice should melt during your run and can help keep you refreshed as you pick up your miles.

And if you get a chance, running through a sprinkler at the end of a summer run is never a bad way to top things off.

EASE INTO IT

Don’t be afraid to take a break from running by mixing in some power walking as well.

You shouldn’t hesitate to take the workout inside on the treadmill or indoor track either. Sure, you may prefer running outdoors, but on extremely hot or muggy days, consider switching it up. Again, be sure to listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond what you can handle.

Don’t let the rising temperatures hinder your love of running. Being prepared with the right apparel and mindset will help you take on those hot days.