Tips for Running in the Summer Heat

I love mornings, but the kind of mornings where you ease into the day, with a good book and multiple cups of coffee. I don’t love mornings in the sense of “there’s my alarm, where are my running shoes??” Some runners are like this, and that’s great if that’s what works for them! I have always heard that it takes 21 days to make something a habit, but I’m not convinced morning workouts will ever be my go-to, even if I tried them for 21 days. Since I’ve been teaching summer school the past few weeks and don’t run early in the mornings, my only other running option is to run when I am off work.


The only problem with running in the afternoons is that the temperature has steadily increased all day, and I’m typically setting out during the hottest time of the day. Now, I’m not completing long runs for half marathon or marathon training, just getting in a few runs a week. A run outside in the heat is still a run outside in the heat, though – regardless of the distance. Earlier this week when I was running in the afternoon it seemed particularly hot outside that day, but I pushed through the run anyways. As I was running, I started thinking about simple ways that help me combat the summer heat and still fit in my weekly runs. I thought some of you might be in the same boat and not a morning runner, so am sharing a few ways that have helped me beat the heat today.


1. Stay hydrated

I am the worst at drinking enough water. When I wake up, it’s like my brain is programmed to think “coffeecoffeecoffee” right away, so most mornings begin with that much needed cup. I sip my coffee throughout the morning and get busy with the day’s work. The next thing I know, it’s the afternoon and I’ve only taken a couple of sips of water. Definitely not enough to hydrate me for a run in the hot heat! When I make a point to drink enough water throughout the day, I notice a big difference in my run later because my body is refreshed and hydrated. One way that helps me to drink enough water is to carry a water bottle around with me during the day. I recently tried the Core water and have been loving it! I also have a Starbucks reusable plastic tumbler that I will refill with water regularly.


core water

2. Food is Fuel

Going along with staying hydrated, your body also needs proper nutrition to perform at its best. Food is fuel, and it’s so important to have this mindset, not only on a daily basis, but especially when you’re pushing yourself in the heat. Sometimes I’ll get busy during the day or am not hungry, but if I don’t stop and make sure I fuel my body with nutritious foods, I won’t be as energized to run later on. I find myself wanting to walk more, slow down, or not push myself as hard. In order to celebrate what your body can do working out, it’s important to fuel it correctly so you will be your best. I have been loving acai bowls lately, topped with fruit, granola, and coconut. So, so good! I’ll be sharing a recipe for an at-home acai bowl on the blog soon.


acai bowl


3. Cool clothing

Heat index of 97 degrees? This is not the time to pull out your favorite summer vacay T-shirt. If I’m running in the heat, I make sure to wear loose, breathable clothing. Moisture-wicking shirts or mesh tops help me stay cool during my run, along with UnderArmour shorts. I usually don’t wear capris if I’m running in the heat of the day, and save those for lifting sessions at the gym instead. Something as simple as switching out a T-shirt for a mesh one can help cool you down and increase your pace/endurance during a run.


4. Slow down

It’s important to be realistic when running in the summer heat. Reducing your pace when it’s hot out is not only normal, it’s also necessary to stay safe. Sometimes I’ll think I just need to dig deep and push through it. However, according to Runner’s World,  “Every Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile.” So on a 90° day, your mile time could be 2-3 minutes slower than your usual pace. It’s not bad to push yourself during a run, but don’t allow yourself to feel bad for slowing down in the heat. 


5. Time of day

If you are a person that can get up and workout in the morning, more power to you! Running earlier before the heat of the day sets in will greatly reduce the amount you are exerting yourself. If you’re not a morning runner like me, saving your run for later in the afternoon as the temperature begins to drop a little bit can help as well. Early mornings or early evenings are the best times to run outside during the summer, since those will be the coolest temperatures. 
Let’s chat! 

  • Favorite time to run? 
  • Do you run outside in the summer?

2 thoughts on “Tips for Running in the Summer Heat

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