minutes per mile blog

5 summer running tips

Since I’ve been struggling in the hot hot heat of summer the past couple of weeks, I thought now would be a good time to share my summer running tips. Here are five pieces of advice for your summer runs!

  1. Start early. You guys know that I’m a big fan of the morning run, and this is especially true in the summer! If I go out past 8 a.m. things get real hot, real fast. For long runs, I’ll start as early as 5 a.m. to beat the heat. You’ll hate yourself at the start but love yourself when you finish before melting. (Related post: 8 ways to become a morning person)20160323_063207
  2. Take water. This one is kind of a no-brainer, but if you’re stubborn like me sometimes the annoyance of carrying a water bottle/backpack/belt on your run can seem like too much to bother with. Also, some weird sense of pride/desire to be a “hardcore” runner might make you think that you don’t need water on your run. Neither of these reasons really justify dying of dehydration in the heat! I force myself to carry water for any run over 10 miles in the summer. And sometimes even 6-8 miles on especially hot days. (flashback to when I lived in DC and had long hair:)P1010474
  3. Wear sunglasses and/or a hat. Have you heard that squinting wastes energy? I thought that was bogus until I read that it actually is true. Keep your eyes happy with a pair of sunglasses (I like my diva-style Oakleys) and your skin nice and shaded with a hat or visor. Related post: My favorite summer running gear.20160424_155435
  4. Lather up with sunscreen and body glide! Having a sunburn is extremely uncomfortable, and having chafing on top of a sunburn is even worse! Take three minutes to put on sunscreen before your run and then another minute to put on body glide wherever your skin tends to chafe, like your inner thighs and armpits. Lovely. (Instead of showing you a photo of my armpit here is just one of me in the sun)0813150629a
  5. Go easy on yourself. This might be my most important tip. Running in the summer is HARD and HOT. So if you slow down, it’s totally okay. Whenever I see the dew point hit 70 or higher, I remind myself that it’s okay to “suffer greatly.” You’ll get your speed back when it cools down! Related post: Explaining dew pointdew-point

What are your tips for running in the summer?

6 thoughts on “5 summer running tips

  1. Hi Mary – do you have a favorite way of carrying water that you would recommend? I tried it for the first time last week on a 12 miler (also my first time running that far!) and just carried the bottle, which was pretty awkward (and got slippery once the bottle started sweating). I am thinking about buying a belt or other device. What have you found is least annoying?

    • okay, you’ve inspired me to write a full post on this topic! now that i think about it, i have a lot to say about hydration. in the meantime, here are my overall thoughts: 1) it’s very personal. i have friends who love backpacks, others who like belts, others who prefer handheld. 2) i don’t like any of them, but if i must carry water i typically prefer handheld. to prevent slipping, i recommend getting a handheld with a strap (and pocket for your Gu!) — i have the Handy 10 “women’s” but they also make “unisex” (no idea if there is even a difference): http://amzn.to/29vcFrD. a small handheld will get me through most long runs as long as there are some refill water fountains along the way. 3) second choice is the belt. at first i thought these would really annoy me, but they’re actually not so bad. i have an old nathan two-pack belt which works great, but the newer models with the slanted holsters are even better! easier to get the bottles in and out when you run. such as: http://amzn.to/29vcNaE. 4) the backpack. okay, i have a nathan hydration backpack/vest and though it’s super convenient (just sip!) i have to say i’m not a huge fan. main reason is because it chafes terribly if you’re wearing a tank top. i actually have a scar on my back from when i ran a 20-miler with one of these torture devices. you’ll also get weird tan lines. and it’s difficult to refill on the go. THE END!!! happy hydrating!!

      • Thanks so much! I tried out a handheld and it worked pretty well. The strap definitely helped with the slipping. I almost bought a backpack but was really nervous about it being too hot to wear in summer (plus chafing … ouch!). Looking forward to the full post :)

  2. Squinting wastes energy is the most important news I’ve read in a long time. It makes sense. Squinting makes me grumpy too. Love your cute sunglasses!