Top 10 Ways to Survive Summer Running


Come on, you know you just read that title with the tune from that song from Grease. Admit it.  I could’ve alternately titled this post “Confessions of a Tomato” since that’s the usual state of my face after most of my summer runs, but I digress.

You see, it’s hot now where I live – and I know many of you have it worse than I do – so it’s even hard for me to complain about the heat.

But complain I do.  What’s a runner girl to do when she really doesn’t like running on the treadmill (and her gym is just as humid as a Michigan summer)?  She learns to adapt. Since I’ll be completing my 2nd triathlon in just 3 days, you better believe I’ve been following my own advice!

Top 10 Ways to Survive Summer Running without potentially dying of heatstroke:

  1. Become a morning person – or a late night person.  I’ll be the first to admit, I REALLY like sleeping in, but if I start my run after 8 or 9 am, I know it’s going to be miserable.  Set out your gear the night before so you’re more likely to get your bootie out of bed.
  2. Learn the art of the cold shower.  You’ll thank me.  If you can’t shower right after your run, at least splash cold water on your face (it’ll help with the Tomato look as well).
  3. Run naked.  Well, not THAT kind of naked.  Learn to run without relying on your Garmin.  Summer isn’t the time to work on PRing that half marathon unless you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere.  It’s hot and you WILL slow down (in fact, you should, at least until you’ve completely adapted to the heat).
  4. Water or an electrolyte drink is your best friend.  We all know that we need to replace fluids lost when we run and if you are anything like me, you don’t “glisten”, you sweat bullets.
  5. Run nearly naked.  This time I’m talking about cutting down on the clothing, and for Pete’s sake, make sure what you are wearing is moisture wicking.  Under no circumstances should you be wearing a cotton t-shirt and capris at this point.  We here at Shrinking Jeans love our readers and would hate to see you chafe or pass out.  Finding the right gear can be a challenge (stay tuned for another post on this subject, ladies) but once you go to tech materials you will NEVER go back.
  6. Sunscreen.  Let me repeat that.  SUNSCREEN.  Preferably a sports-specific formula that you won’t completely sweat off.  Skin cancer isn’t pretty, trust me.
  7. Change up your running routes.  Now is the time to find nice, breezy places to run next to the water or under a shade of trees.  If you can run looped routes and near places where you know you can fill up your water bottles, that’s even better.
  8. Crosstrain.  A 90 degree day feels much cooler as the wind whips by you on your bike than it does when you’re trying to run in it.  If you have access to a swimming hole – USE IT!
  9. Protect your eyes – Get yourself a good pair of running sunglasses.  Squinting into the sun will only cause wrinkles (not to mention potentially affect your vision) and no one wants that.
  10. BE A KID!!!! Your neighbor left his sprinklers on?  RUN THROUGH THEM!  It’s raining?  GO RUN ANYWAY AND SPLASH IN THE PUDDLES! Got a beach nearby? RUN ON THE SAND! The idea is to have fun and learn to love summer running.

Seriously, learn to embrace ALL the seasons.  Stay tuned in about 6 months and I’ll tell you all how I survive running here when the mercury dips well below zero.  Michigan girls are a hardy bunch – so are the rest of you.  You just might not know it yet.

So talk to me.  Do you have a favorite time of year to run?  How do you cope with wild changes in temperature?

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