In the summer heat, motivation to lace up and sweat it out can be hard to come by. Even the most avid of runners can get intimidated by running in sweltering weather. The best way to keep cool on a summer run is to wear the right gear and take precautions so you’re safe.
If you’re planning to pound the pavement this summer, here are 6 tips to stay cool on your run:
Run when the weather is right
Going for a jog at noon in July is asking for a bad time. Make use of cool summer mornings and evenings to get your heart rate up. The cooler it is, the more comfortable you’re going to be on your summer run. Overslept and can’t run at night? Opt for a little indoor yoga today — or find a treadmill somewhere with air conditioning — and set your alarm clock early for tomorrow morning’s run.
Bring Water with You
Taking a good few swigs before your run is important, but you also need to hydrate as you go. Invest in a small-sized water bottle that will be easy to hang on to as you jog. Big bulky water bottles may keep your water cooler, but they get heavy and cumbersome to bring along. For truly avid runners you can invest in a water bottle backpack or belt to keep your hands free.
Wear Bamboo Workout Clothes
Bamboo fitness clothing is your best bet during swampy summer weather. Unlike your regular cotton tee, which will get soaked with sweat and keep you damp, bamboo fabric helps keep you cool and dry. Bamboo fabric brings that moisture wicking magic and are anti-microbial, so they don’t hold onto that gym bag funk.
Always Wear Sunscreen
No, wearing sunscreen isn’t going to make you immediately cool down. But, have you ever tried running with a sunburn? It’s uncomfortable and makes any heat feel worse. The best way to avoid sunburns (and skin cancer!) is with prevention. Opt for waterproof sunscreen that will hold up better to a sweaty run. Nobody regrets wearing sunscreen, promise.
Slow It Down
The sprints you finally mastered during the spring may need to take a back seat over the summer. The harder you push yourself, the more likely you are to overheat. Start your run with a jog and slowly build up speed. This goes for winding down, too! Start your cool down a bit earlier in your run than you would normally. This will help get your heart rate down before you finish up (and stretch out, right?).
Skip the Pre-Run Coffee
Caffeine is well known to be a diuretic. Normally this isn’t a bad thing, but during the summer months you may want to shy away to avoid dehydration. Instead of starting your day with a hot cup of coffee, switch to decaf or herbal tea. Sure, you don’t get the positive effects of caffeine, but it’s better to start your run with a yawn than dehydrate along the way.
With these tips we hope you keep going on your fitness game all summer long — the right timing and gear does wonders for making your summer run more enjoyable.