MarathonMaiden's Blog

May 27, 2010

Tips For Running In The Heat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:05

aka Do Not Do As I Did

My run on Wednesday was pretty amazing regardless of the 96* temps facing me as I headed out the door.  And during the first mile, when my body became drenched in sweat, I wondered how I was going to finish the damn thing.  But I know myself and once I lock into a rhythm then I’m good to go no matter what.

Hence the 9 miles at a 8:48 pace.  Not my best but still really fast for an easy run.  And it really did feel easy.  Then factor in the triple H’s (hot hazy humid) and I became ecstatic with the run.  Who know what could have happened if it was cooler? Oh what might have been.

That said I was melting.  I kind of didn’t want to stop running.  And no, not because I felt so awesome (even though I did), but because I knew that if I stopped I would get hit with a wave of heat and an extra bucket of sweat.  The cold water I splashed on my face afterward felt soooo good.

And since it doesn’t look like we’ll be reverting back to true winter anytime soon (thank freaking god!) I think it’s apropos to do a little bit on running in heat (although I bet you smart bloggies already knew these because they are spouted off all the time.  Lame post for a busy girl? Maaaaaaaybe haha).  But take everything with a grain of salt because I did NONE of these on Wednesday.  Oops.  Hello hypocrite!

  • Run when the temp isn’t at it’s peak. Usually that means early morning (before the sun comes up) or late night (after the sun goes down).  The reason for this is obvious: if you’re running in cooler temps then you’re going to be more comfortable.  Peak intensity is usually from 1000 to 1600 so those are the times to avoid. Ummmm my noon runs? Not so good especially if my next tip is to…
  • Take time to acclimate For me, this means doing my lengthy or hard workouts during the time that it’s not peak BUT do a short 3 miles when it is hottest.  This way I’m not taxing my system too much in the heat but I’m letting my body know that “Hey there, this is what you need to run in but I’m not going to jump right in and kill you”.  Definitely didn’t do this on my Wednesday run (or my Tuesday for that matter)
  • Seek shade Or at least routes that are predominately shade.  Shade will protect you from the blistering sun and keep temps *slightly* cooler.  Granted this will not help at all with the humidity but it’s a start right? And in my defense, part of my run were shaded, just not as much as I originally thought.  Some stretches were all trees and others were just me and the blacktop.  Ouch.
  • Seek water As in sprinklers and water fountains.  I was trying to find this stuff buttttt nothing.  Although I was going at such a good machine clip that who knows if I would have stopped.  When I finished the run I did do this but nothing in the time I was in motion.
  • Keep pace appropriate Despite having a stellar pace on my run I went out with the intention of NOT doing my planned speedwork.  In the heat you’re body is going to be rebelling because it’s hard to run in the heat and you’ll end up with some type of heat-related illnesses if you go *too* hard.  I definitely should have scaled back and been more conservative as I was getting overheated and maybe slightly delusional by the end.
  • Appropriate clothing So maybe this tip I did alright with? I mean I wasn’t in sweats or anything (gosh I am just sweating thinking about that!) but I was in a sports bra and shorts only.  Meaning nothing to wick away the massive amounts of sweat I was producing.  But you’ll want to wear light colored clothing (black/dark absorbs all wavelengths of light which means that you’ll be absorbing all the heat) and wicking clothing so that you’re sweat can be more efficiently evaporated, thus keeping you cool.  Loose fitting clothing is also key so that the evaporation process can happen more easily too
  • Sunscreen Ummm I suck at putting on sunscreen.  But skin cancer? No joke.  I just had a couple pre-cancerous moles removed from my skin.  A good tip here is to look for sweat-proof ones as it sucks hardcore when you get this stuff in your eyes and, as I mention time and time again, I sweat like… a lot.
  • HYDRATE Yes I am terrible with this.  The other day, at the gym doing lifting, I lost 3 pounds during my hour session.  Obviously that was all water weight but I know for a fact that I only drank 20 oz of water all day.  Yes I drink a liter of milk and ice teas but that is no match for my sweat rate.  And I think that running would make that weight loss even more pronounced.  But your body is ~70% water so clearly replenishing that is key to living and avoiding heat related illnesses.  As a runner being well hydrated means more efficient workouts as well as workouts that feel easier.  To know if you’re properly hydrated I guess the standard is the pee test? If your pee is lemonade color you’re good, ice tea color? Not so much.
  • Educate yourself Know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion etc.  If you notice the signs in yourself or anyone else it’s time to put the breaks on the workout. And if they don’t go away with some hydration and shade then seek medical attention.  Maybe this tip is one that I actually did as I know the signs and symptoms.  Go me ha! But for those of you who aren’t as lucky as me they are: faintness, dizziness, disorientation, no sweating or  cool and clammy skin.

So there you have it.  I think I can check off only the education tip off of my things I did Wednesday.  Oops.  Hopefully typing this out motivates me (and YOU) to be smart as summer comes on full swing.

Luckily for me those T-storms I mentioned yesterday did come through so I woke up to 60* weather and it felt nice and chilly.  I don’t think it’s supposed to get warmer than 70* today (yeah be jealous) which is going to feel like *winter* after running in 96* on Wednesday.  Holllllleeeeeeerrrrrr. I don’t even feel bad waiting until noon again 😛


  1. I’m a big fan of the forest preserve I run in now for several of those reasons. A lot of it’s shaded and it’s only 2.8 miles in a loop so I can stop for water in my car if necessary…

    You are a braver soul than me for running in the peak heat times!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — May 27, 2010 @ 14:56

  2. That “acclimate” part is the worst…

    Comment by Kim — May 27, 2010 @ 15:01

  3. Heat and humidity are inevitable in Florida so I don’t think twice about most of those common principles, but they are SO true! I even have to do 10 mile runs in the 5am blackness with a white shirt or camelback otherwise I will die.

    Excellent post, I think its so important for all runners to make the necessary adjustments for summer’s weather!

    Comment by Stephanie — May 27, 2010 @ 16:41

  4. I’m so bad about sunscreen too! Partly because I am lazy and partly because I love getting a tan! Hey, if I’m going to be out there for an hour or two running, might as well kill two birds and get a tan as well!

    Sounds like a hard core run, especially considering the conditions! Hope today’s was even more lovely! 🙂

    Comment by tmart — May 27, 2010 @ 17:22

    • Definitely killing two birds with one stone…although with my risk factors for skin cancer I *really* shouldn’t hah

      Comment by marathonmaiden — May 28, 2010 @ 22:44

  5. Good tips. I always forget sunscreen, especially when I KNOW I’m going to sweat it off. I figure the sun is less strong in the early morning, right? Right?

    Comment by sarah — May 28, 2010 @ 10:51

  6. Good tips! Clothing is key. I always start out with a hat when it’s really hot, thinking (wrongly) that it will keep me cool. Nope it just traps the heat. Running near naked is the way to go … less is more. Great run. Very BAMF to hit it that hard in the heat.

    Comment by a marathoner — May 28, 2010 @ 12:01

  7. I also need to be better about sunscreen. Do you think the sweatproof stuff actually stays on? Nice tips!

    Comment by Jess — May 28, 2010 @ 13:18

  8. […] I’m going to take the fact that not many people seemed to read my Tips for Hot Weather Running yesterday as a sign that you guys are smarty-arties and already knew all of it.  And for those of […]

    Pingback by We All Came Here To Make It « MarathonMaiden's Blog — May 28, 2010 @ 15:32

  9. Ugg I sweat so much now with the heat! Even in the mornings! Its totally not cool! I have been taking water to my track workouts which has been helping but its the post running re hydration that I slack on.

    Comment by J — May 29, 2010 @ 17:01

    • I take water with me everywhere too but alas it never gets into my system. I need someone screaming at me I think ha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — May 30, 2010 @ 15:25

  10. 9 miles at 96*?!!! That is AMAZING. Way to go! I normally just melt. And I live in the south…so May-October is perpetually melting for me.

    Comment by pen — June 2, 2010 @ 13:14

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