If you’ve recently taken up running, you’re gearing up for your first summer of running. With a heatwave around the corner, I wanted to share some tips for running in warmer weather. The heat and sun affect your workout, so here’s how to handle your first hot summer of running.

SPF, SPF, SPF!

I cannot stress this enough! Even when it is cloudy, UV rays can still harm your skin. Opt for a sweat-resistant sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply if out for a longer run. Face and body – slap it on any exposed areas to avoid those awkward sports bra tan lines.

Timing is everything

Choosing the right time to run can make all the difference. Early morning or late evening runs are better, as the sun isn’t as harsh. Avoid running between midday and 3 PM when the sun is at its peak.

Plan your route

When planning your running route, consider the terrain and environment. Trails with more shade can be significantly cooler. Parks and trails with natural shade from trees can offer a much-needed respite from the sun.

Dress smart

Your outfit can affect your comfort while running in the heat. Opt for light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes that allow your skin to breathe. Avoid mesh fabrics as they offer less sun protection. Visors are great as they shield your face from the sun without being as warm as a cap!

Wear the goddamn shorts!

They’ll keep you cool while running, and trust me—no one cares or will stare at you. As someone who never dared to wear shorts before, I realised last year that it’s absolutely fine. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident, so go ahead and rock those shorts! If, like me, you are prone to chaffing, where a longer style sprinter short! 

Manage that mane

Sweaty hair sticking to your face is the last thing you need on a hot run. A hairband can keep those strands in place and absorb sweat or pop a hair mask in to make sure it is slicked back – your hair will thank you when you wash it!

Hydration is key

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when you’re sweating more than usual. Always carry a water bottle with you, even if you don’t usually run with one. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before you head out, and consider adding electrolytes to your water to replenish what you lose through sweat.

Pace yourself

Running in hot weather is harder on your body, so don’t worry about maintaining your usual pace in the heat. It’s perfectly fine to slow down and take walking breaks if needed. Your safety is always more important than knocking off a few seconds from your mile time. Remember: An 8-minute mile and a 12-minute mile cover the same distance. It’s all about getting there, not how fast you do it.

Choose the Right Shoes

Wearing the right shoes can prevent many hot-weather running woes. Look for breathable running shoes that allow air to circulate your feet, keeping them cool and reducing the risk of blisters.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to how your body feels during your run. Symptoms like dizziness, excessive sweating, headache, or nausea can be signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop running immediately, find a cool place and hydrate.

Post-Run Cool Down

After your run, take time to cool down properly. A gentle walk can help bring your heart rate down gradually. Cold drinks (or a post-run ice lolly) can also help your body return to a normal temperature.

Make it social

Running with friends can be more fun and safer, especially in hot weather, you can always grab that well-deserved post-run iced coffee or smoothie. It’s a perfect way to catch up with friends.

Running in the summer heat can be challenging, so listen to your body, take it easy, and most importantly, stay safe and have fun out there! 🌞🏃‍♀️

Happy running, girlies! 🏃‍♀️💪