It’s Getting Hot in Here!

The heat and humidity are in full force here in Tennessee!  Here are some tips to help you with your summer running…

1.  When the temps begin to heat up, it will take your body 2 weeks to adapt to the warm weather.

2.  Wear moisture-wicking running clothes.  Remember that cotton is rotten. (No sweatsuits and trash bags!)

3.  Make sure to wear sunscreen and a visor or hat to protect your face. (A fan is optional.)

4.  Run early or late in the day.  Avoid the midday heat if at all possible.

5.  If you can only run in the early afternoon, consider moving your workout indoors to the treadmill, stationary bike, or pool.

6.  Stay hydrated!  Drink water throughout the day and carry a handheld or hydration pack during your run.

7.  Add electrolytes to your water for runs over 60 minutes.  (In the summer, I always mix Cocogo with my water…even for short runs.  Use code: JENCHOOSESJOY (all caps) for 10% at Cocogo.com.)

8.  Strategically plan your route.  Choose a shady route (trees or tall buildings) and run by water fountains if possible.

9.  Start your run a little slower than usual.  If you’re feeling good half way through, pick up the pace a bit.

10.  Consider running by effort rather than pace.  Listen to your body and lower your intensity if needed.

11.  Know when to say when and take your workout indoors in the extreme heat.

12.  Lower your expectations.  You can’t expect as much out of your body.  Be kind to yourself and give yourself a little extra grace.

13.  For every 5 degree rise over 60 degrees F, expect to slow your pace by 20-30 seconds.  Here is a great post from Coach Mark Hadley from Maximum Performance Running on Temperature + Dew Points for Pace Adjustments.
MPR Logo - Mini BIT

14.  Lastly, think about how great you will feel in your fall race after a tough summer of training!!!

Silliness aside…the heat can be dangerous.  Here are the signs of heat exhaustion (source):

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you experience the above symptoms…

  • Immediately get out of the heat (preferably to air-conditioning)
  • Drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol).
  • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
  • Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.

If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

Stay safe out there!!

What tips or tricks am I forgetting to survive summer running?

Do you pay attention to Dew Point before a run or just the temperature?

Are you already battling summer temps?


Join the Conversation

  • http://letstalkandwalk.wordpress.com Glenneth

    great tips – for runners and walkers. tennessee heat and humidity can be brutal.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      It’s definitely a challenge every summer!!

  • http://twitter.com/TheFitFork The Fit Fork (@TheFitFork)

    Ugh, it was so hot yesterday . . . . and I was so run down from poor sleeping and recovery that I had to call someone to come pick me up mid-run! So, I’m thinking I need the “lower expectations” one . . . lol

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Oh no!!! I hope you got some good rest and recovery!

  • Sarah @SarahRuns26

    We don’t have alot of humidity here so I only take the temperature into consideration. When I travel I’m sure to think about the humidity though. We just got the first few days of 90 degree temps here. I’m already over it! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’m jealous of your dry heat!

  • freelaced

    Its been summer here for a couple weeks now. I definitely pay attention to the dew point, as its usually within 5 degrees of the actual temp when I run in the morning. When done right, there’s something satisfying about finishing a run and being so sweaty… Maybe I’m just a weirdo :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I can relate! I feel more hardcore when I’m soaked after a workout!??

  • http://idonteatthat.wordpress.com Jamie

    I think you covered them all and then some! I usually look at % humidity before I run, and if it’s over 65% I always always bring water with me even for a short run. Not so much summer temps but the humidity is out in full force. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That’s a great rule to follow!

  • http://gretchruns.com Gretchen | Gretchruns

    I know all of these tricks from running for so long, but I don’t even care because those gifs just made me day! SO FUNNY!! Thanks for sharing all this information- stay cool 😎

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks!! I made myself laugh putting this one together!

  • elawruns

    Hilarious!!! I’m glad you didn’t include “no whining”

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Sometimes the heat warrants a little whining!!?

  • Jen B.

    I am definitely already battling summer temps in D.C.! Sometimes I feel like a wimp when I opt to run on the treadmill instead of outside–I think it’s because I hate looking at my Garmin and seeing my pace significantly slower than what I’m used to. But at the same time, I love the D.C. scenery and being outdoors, so I can’t win! I always wear a light weight tank and shorts (my Lululemon ones are my fave) and take my handheld with me, but sometimes I think about just running in a sports bra and shorts!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      The struggle is real!

  • Jen B.

    Hahahaha also the Mama June Gif is GREAT!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Cracks me up!

  • http://www.runningnreading.com Running ‘N’ Reading

    I try to keep up at the same paces for speed work (with easy runs, I just go by effort) for as long as I can, but I do like having “permission” to slow down a bit if I need to; some days are tougher than others! As one of my local running friends says (and I listen to her because she’s an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier – ha!), “on days like these, you do what you can.” The track has NO SHADE, so I go early and get it out of the way; I don’t know how folks do it out there after work – GAH! Thanks for the great tips, Jen!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I’m definitely an early morning runner. Evenings would be so tough!!

  • http://gravatar.com/amahoney81 AmandaM

    Fun post! Understanding there is a serious side. But really, I’ve seen lots of posts about running in the heat and kind of tune out but yours kept me very entertained. Thank you :)

    Not too bad here in “home of Heartbreak Hill” yet! I love to look forward to a cool body of water to plunge into after the run. – lake, pool, ocean.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I entertained myself writing it!?

  • thisrunnersrecipes

    Great tips and I love the funny gifs! I do appreciate your note about running slower and keeping an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion – it’s important to be reminded of those each and every summer.
    Back when I lived in Indiana I would always look at the dew point and humidity – there’s a big difference between 70 degrees with a low dew point and humidity and 70 degrees with high humidity!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      The humidity kicks my butt!

  • http://laurainlou.wordpress.com lmicklich

    It warmed up pretty quickly here in Kentucky, too. I chose to run laps around a park with water fountains today, giving myself a break from carrying my hand held. As much as I hate to have to carry my phone, if I have to run when it’s really hot, I will take it just in case!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thats super smart to take your phone. Great advice!

  • http://goallthemiles.wordpress.com Lauren

    Ha! I love the “running is impossible” one – mainly because there have been many a time I’ve felt that way when I’ve started a run!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I can definitely relate!!

  • stephanie

    Very entertaining and informative post! I’m in the New Orleans area and we’ve been blessed with cooler-than-usual mornings later in June than usual this year, so I’ve had some good runs when I expected heat! However… humidity is generally over 80% and temps are getting into the upper 70s even before the sun comes up now. Today’s run was pretty stuffy. August is the worst.for.real. More like swimming than running!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      New Orleans is one of the muggiest places I’ve ever run!

  • http://sweetstosavor.wordpress.com faygie

    Ha! Your post are always so entertaining! :)

    I hate running in the heat! Yesterday I was determined to run 10 miles after I dropped my kids off at school. I was *this close* to cutting it short (after somewhere around 4 miles), but I know that I need to start getting used to running when it’s hot out. So I kept going, taking walking breaks when I needed to (I didn’t care about or look at my pace at all during that run), and stopping at a park to refill my water bottle. And it wasn’t even super-hot out, low 70s (I think) & humid. It doesn’t help that by the time I got out there was much shade for most of the run :( I think that when it starts to get really hot out, I’ll probably do most of my runs in the evening (because here in LA it usually cools off quite a bit at night, thank goodness!).

    I really do hope that running in the heat over the summer will make running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas 1/2 this fall easier!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      I ran Chicago last year. The summer training in TN was miserable. Then on race day, it was in the 40’s on Chicago…heaven!!!

  • http://www.michaelhsmith.com Michael

    Jenn, good stuff. As I started my run this morning the humidity was 95%. I took it easy and thought of you guys on the track running harder than I did.

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      We still miss you on the track, but I’m sure you don’t miss the sweaty workouts!!!?

  • http://www.thesimplepeach.com/ thesimplepeach

    The humidity has ramped up here too! The park I run by has been under construction since winter and they removed the water fountain. Finger crossed it makes an appearance soon!

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Yes…fingers crossed!!

  • http://cupcakesandmiles.wordpress.com cupcakesandmiles

    Ohmigosh! Am I battling summer heat or what?! It’s not fun this year, and it’s just getting started. 😐

  • http://ultrafootpath.blogspot.com Melissa

    Those were great tips! It is hot and humid here in Michigan. We kinda skipped spring and went straight summer!! ugh.
    Stay cool out there!! :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      Thanks so much!

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/10101767818639303/ Kayla Michelle Press

    The heat/humidity is for real. It makes me laugh because when I am outside cussing the freezing cold in February, my running buddy is always saying, “Come June, you’re going to miss February.” I have a short memory and always forget how brutal running in the heat can be.

  • http://mobilebayrunner.wordpress.com mobilebayrunner

    It is nice and steamy down here in lower Alabama! It can definitely be discouraging to not hit the paces you are used to in workouts, but I always try to remeber that it is about putting in the equivalent effort. And I know that when the first cool snap of fall gets here, it will all be worth it and I’ll be feeling awesome :)

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      The fall weather definitely keeps me motivated through the summer!

  • Pingback: Lots of Fruit and Group Runs | Jen Chooses Joy()

    • http://jenchoosesjoy.com jenchoosesjoy

      That’s hilarious!!!