When I first moved down to Florida, I could barely bring myself to run outdoors. Living in the Northeast all my life, I was completely unprepared for the heat. After spending two years acclimating and adapting before moving to California, running in the hot summers still isn’t easy — but it is manageable. Here are my top five tips for running in the hot-hot heat.

1. Hydrate!

You probably saw this one coming, but summer running and proper hydration really go hand in hand. Hydration means drinking throughout the day, and planning your water/fueling through your run. A good rule of thumb is to drink 8 ounces of water per hour, 4 hours prior to your workout. To ensure that you are hydrating properly, perform this simple test: weigh yourself before your run, keep track of the fluid ounces you take in during your workout, then weigh yourself again immediately post-workout. Multiply the number of pounds you lost by 16 and add that to the fluid ounces you drank. That’s the number of ounces you should have consumed.

In the summer, I also like to incorporate a little extra salt into my diet to ensure that I’m not only drinking sufficient fluids, but maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance. Bring on the pretzels!

2. Be Realistic

I know that when temps are super high, I’m not going to be able to run at the speed I’m used to. On hot, humid days, I often force myself to leave my watch at home and run by effort instead.

3. Find a Motivator164078569

It’s easier to sweat it out with a little extra nudge. I like to run with a buddy or download a podcast to keep my mind off the temp.

4. Screen Up

Some people don’t sweat heavily, even in hot weather. I am not one of those people. I used to hate wearing sunscreen during summer workouts because even the “sports” stuff would run into my eyes. Then I discovered balms and sticks. The thicker formula resists running, and it provides better coverage as you sweat.

5. Cool Down Slowly

I always make sure to add five minutes of walking to the end of my workouts in hot weather. This prevents my muscles from freaking out — and it feels excellent.
I want to know…What are your best tips for running in the heat? Let me know here or tweet me @JessieSebor.

Girl on the Run provides real-life training tips brought to you by Jessie Sebor, an accomplished endurance athlete who practices what she preaches. Sebor uses her column to provide tips, advice and guidance for runners—no matter their experience or pace. She shares more information and training plans through her magazine WomensRunning.com and on Twitter as @JessieSebor.

About the Author

Jessie_EditorsPhotoAuthor Jessie Sebor is Editor in Chief for Women’s Running Magazine and an avid runner. For more information, visit www.womensrunning.com.