Summer running brings an array of challenges that aren’t necessarily present in the cooler months. We here at Fit2Run think summer running has many benefits, including the bodies’ increasing ability to regulate body heat and conserve nutrients, all of which will make running in the fall and winter feel much more effortless. Hot temperatures aren’t a reason to slack off on your training, and at Fit2Run, we have all of the gear you need to succeed when you are running in the heat.
It goes without saying that the most important tip for running in the summer heat is staying hydrated. Staying hydrated not only during your run but also before and after ensures that your body does not get to the point of dehydration. Drinking at least 8 ounces of water before a run will help your body sustain the heat throughout your run. Carrying anything in your hands or pockets during a run is less than ideal, and Nathan gets it! Nathan has water bottles, handheld flasks, and hydration belts to ensure that no matter how you prefer to stay hydrated during your runs, you can. Sometimes, water isn’t enough, and you might need some electrolytes to help you get going or keep going. Electrolytes replace the salt in your body lost while sweating, which allows you to stay energized. Nuun Sport Hydration Tablets can be added to any 16 oz bottle of water and dissolve to create a nutrient-rich drink to fuel any run. Athletes are supposed to replace at least 50% of their electrolytes lost on their run for ultimate recovery and performance, so carrying along some of these nifty little tablets is the perfect way to do so. However you choose to hydrate, Fit2Run has what you need!
- Stay hydrated and drink at least 8 ounces of water before your run and at least 16 ounces after your run
- Replace your electrolytes that are lost through sweat for ultimate hydration
Heat cramps, muscle exhaustion, and severe fatigue are all on the list of possibilities if you run on an empty stomach in the smoldering heat. It’s essential to fuel up on healthy carbohydrates and electrolytes for slow-releasing energy. GU Roctane Energy Gels were crafted to supply both power and crucial nutrients like electrolytes and amino acids to keep you feeling strong and energized. The precise blend of complex and simple carbohydrates will fuel you up, so you feel good, longer. These energy gels are perfect for post-run recovery or pre-run fuel and also provide mental energy. The mental fight of running in the heat is just as, if not more, important than the physical one. If energy gels aren’t your thing, a nutritious Clif Bar will provide just as much energy for your run. Clif Bars are made with wholesome, organic ingredients, and not to mention they taste great with flavor offerings like Blueberry Crisp and Carrot Cake. This high-calorie snack can easily be carried along on a run or used for pre/post-run nutrition and an energy boost. Getting ample carbohydrates and other nutrients will help you stay running longer, even in the summer heat.
- Avoid cramping, fatigue, and exhaustion and be sure to fuel up on healthy carbs and electrolytes to sustain your energy and replenish glycogen levels for recovery
- Try some high calorie snacks like Clif bars and Gu Energy Gels to fuel up pre or post run
TRACK YOUR PERFORMANCE
Tracking your performance during a run helps you keep your pace, set PR’s and helps make sure your body isn’t getting overheated and your vitals, such as heart rate, oxygen levels, etc., are in balance. Garmin offers a variety of smartwatches that do just that. Garmin’s solar-powered watches, in particular, are great for summer runs and stay on and remain performance-ready for weeks. Garmin watches track many metrics, including wrist-based heart rate and pulse oxygen levels. One of the most valuable metrics to track is your heart rate. Your maximum heart rate should be 220 minus your age, so with a watch that can track this metric, you can be sure you aren’t pushing your body too hard. Some Garmin watches even track sweat lost from a workout and advise you on replenishing lost nutrients. The intense heat makes your body burn energy more quickly because of the demands it places on it. Tracking these metrics will ensure you are reaching your maximum potential without extenuating your body.
- Track your summer runs and vital levels with a solar-powered Garmin smartwatch
PROTECT YOUR BODY
Protecting your body from both the sun and sweat will ensure that your run is as comfortable as possible. We all know that with sweat comes some unwanted rubbing in places we didn’t even know rubbed together. Body Glide formula provides a barrier for the skin to protect it from irritation chafing caused by rubbing. With one swipe, this product helps skin retain moisture and is never wet or greasy. Made for both men and women and available in a balm or cream, Body Glide will ensure that your body stays protected in even the most intense summer heat. Lastly, we can’t forget about the eyes! Goodr running sunglasses are no-slip, no bounce, all polarized running sunglasses. These glare-reducing shades block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays abundant in the summer months. With non-slip capabilities, these glasses will stay on your face on even the sweatiest of runs. It is known that you lose much of your body heat through your head, so don’t wear something that traps the heat. Sprints race day hats are both unique in style and heat-releasing. They are unisex and equipped with adjustable velcro closure, so they fit any size. Protect your head in style with fun prints ranging from gummy bears to flying pigs. Specifically for the ladies, we know that ponytail gets in the way and traps sweat on your back. Top Knot performance hats have a closure that will allow you to clasp the cap around a ponytail of any thickness. Outdoor runners are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of UV rays from the sun so it is important to protect your body at all costs, you only get one!
- Sweat causes rubbing and irritation in places that are less than comfortable so be sure to use Body Glide to create a barrier
- Use items such as hats and sunglasses to protect your skin from harmful UV rays
WEAR THE RIGHT APPAREL
Cotton is a no-go during the summer. Cotton is thick and tends to trap heat and sweat, leaving way for a damp body. Brands like On have apparel offerings that are made with technical fabrics that dry faster than you can sweat, leaving your body dry and cool throughout your entire run. Aside from apparel, socks trap moisture and heat as well. A good pair of socks is just as important, if not more, than the perfect pair of running shoes. Feetures offers a variety of performance socks that not only prevent blisters but use special moisture-wicking fibers that are imperative for summer running. Your feet actually sweat while running and cotton tends to trap this moisture leaving your feet and socks wet. By wearing the right running socks, your feet are going to stay dry longer, release less odor, and remain temperature controlled throughout your whole run. It is known that you lose much of your body heat through your head, so don’t wear something that traps the heat. Sprints race day hats are both unique in style and heat-releasing. They are unisex and equipped with adjustable velcro closure, so they fit any size. Protect your head in style with fun prints ranging from gummy bears to flying pigs. Specifically for the ladies, we know that ponytail gets in the way and traps sweat on your back. Top Knot performance hats have a closure that will allow you to clasp the cap around a ponytail of any thickness. The moisture-wicking properties of these hats help you stay protected and cool during your summer run of any distance.
- Wearing cotton on summer runs is a no-go. Try wearing moisture-wicking apparel instead
- Don’t forget about wearing the right socks. Socks trap heat as well so be sure the socks you are wearing stay dry and remain temperature controlled
The heat of the summer is welcomed by some but dreaded by others. Running in the summer can be both brutal and rewarding. Especially in Florida, the intense heat coupled with high humidity can make your run seem like a drag. We believe that running and staying active is important in all kinds of weather. So get out there and run!