8 Ways to Stay Cool on Hot Runs

Beat the heat when running in hot weather

Running in hot weather can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, if you're not careful. Follow these tips to stay cool during hot weather running.

Carry fluids with you.

Women running with water
Zia Soleil

Don't assume that you'll be running past water fountains during your runs or that you won't need to drink on the run. In hot and humid weather, you really need to taking in some fluids every 20 minutes or so.

Carry your fluids using a water belt or bottle and make sure you stay hydrated (you may need to stop and refill your bottle). Fill your bottle with lots of ice so your water will stay cold as long as possible.

Make a splash.

Women Pouring Water
Peety Cooper

Use water to cool yourself during runs. If you are overheating, splashing water on yourself, especially your head, underarms, and neck, will cool you down quickly and have a lasting effect as the water evaporates from your skin. If you don't want to waste water that you're carrying to drink on the run, look for lawn sprinklers that you can run through.

Run during the coolest part of the day.

Woman Running on Beach in the Morning
Southern Stock

Beat the heat by running in the early morning or evening hours. Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the hottest part of the day. If you have a hard time getting motivated to run in the morning, try some of these tips for morning running.

Run near the water.

Woman running on the beach
John Kelly

Running near water usually means you'll get a nice breeze and feel cooler. And the best part about running near water is that you can take a refreshing dip once you're done with your run.

More: Tips for Beach Running

Choose a shady course.

Runner with cyclist
Photo by Silverstock

Pick a running course that has a lot of shade so you can avoid running directly in the sun. Trail running is a great option for summer running. But don't forget the sunscreen -- even if your course is mostly shady, you'll still get sun exposure.

Dress lightly.

Runner Wearing Sunglasses
John P Kelly

Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing will help your body breathe and cool itself naturally. Tight clothing restricts that process, and dark colors absorb the sun's light and heat. Light colors reflect the sun from your skin, so choose white or other light-colored clothes.

If you want to wear something on your head to block the sun, choose a visor rather than a hat.  Visors allow you to release heat from your head (as well as absorb sweat on your forehead), while a hat while hold the heat in.

More: How to Dress for Hot Weather Running

Make a Badwater ice bandana.

Use a cooling trick from competitors in the Badwater Ultramarathon. Lay a bandana out flat and place a row of ice cubes from one corner of the bandana to another. Then roll it up and tie it around your neck.

Take walk breaks.

Even if you don't typically use a run/walk strategy, extreme heat and humidity are good reasons to take a walk break.  An uphill section of a course is a smart time to take a walk break.

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