I’m hesitant to post this — on Tuesday it was hot and humid. I’m a little worried once I press “publish,” it’s going to be nothing but cool, crisp air. Let’s cross our fingers, shall we?
Now that it’s fall and we’re on the cusp of marathon season, we’re just getting into the weird in-between weather — when we waffle between summer and fall every other day. Since there are still a few more weeks until marathon mania begins, and likely a few more hot-weather runs to be had, I’m sharing some hot weather running tips to help keep you cool and hopefully help you snag a fall PR.
10 Tips to Keep Cool on Hot Days and Snag a Fall PR
This one’s a no-brainer. Make sure you’re properly hydrated before you even start your run. Starting off hydrated will keep any potential dehydration at bay. By practicing hydration now, you’ll be so well-versed by race day it will be second nature.
2. Run by “feel” not by time.
Remember, running during the hot, humid summer will make your workouts feel much harder. Perceived effort is based on how hard you feel like you’re working, not time. Adjust accordingly. Fun fact: hard warm-weather runs will make your cool, fall paces faster.
3. Cut the negative self-talk.
Remind yourself that it’s hot, sticky, and humid. Once cooler temps arrive, a fall PR will be on the horizon.
4. Stay cool by wiping away sweat.
Sweat doesn’t evaporate when it’s humid out, which can cause you to feel drenched and even warmer than you actually are. Keep cool by wiping the sweat away as it forms. Hopefully come race day, the humidity will be much lower.
Be sure to rehydrate through your run. If you started off well-hydrated, you can continue to run well so long as you keep replenishing lost fluids. Make sure you rehydrate on race day, too. If you are planning on carrying your own hydration, make sure you drink regularly. If you’re relying on aid stations, practice taking hydration every two miles or so to mimic race day.
6. Check the weather before heading out for a run.
Dew point, relative humidity, and “feels like” are all good indicators of how your run will feel. If it’s a high humidity day, expect your effort-based run to feel much harder than if it were lower humidity.
7. Save the tough workouts — hill repeats, sprints, long runs — for the days with the most favorable conditions.
While this may not always be possible based on your training plan, if you have a tough workout and it’s supposed to be hot and humid, you can usually swap your workouts for when running may feel easier. Consult with your coach before changing around your plan — sometimes we’re evil geniuses and have things written as such on purpose.
8. Dress the part.
Less is more when it comes to running in heat. Focus on lightweight, wicking apparel. The thinner the material, the better.
9. It’s okay to run on the treadmill.
Don’t be a hero. If it’s too hot and you can’t adjust your training schedule, it’s okay to run on the treadmill!
10. Enjoy the training.
Above all else, enjoy your time on the road or trails. A positive attitude will set you up for an enjoyable fall race — and hopefully help you snag a fall PR!
These tips can be easily applied to the dog days of summer or even out to the last hot days of late fall, which we will inevitably get. As marathon season quickly approaches, utilize these tips and keep your eyes on the fall PR prize!
And not to worry because pretty soon this:
And now it’s time for the Running Coaches’ Corner linkup! Link up with Debbie, Lora, Susie, and yours truly this and every Wednesday with your running-related posts. And don’t forget to share the love and visit other bloggers!
Are you a warm-weather or cold-weather lover?
What tips do you have to stay cool and dry during these swampy summer months?
This post is a variation on an article I wrote in 2014. Same idea, a few different points. Better graphics.
Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesdays!