My name is Rebecca Trachsel. I’m a mom, runner, music lover, high school XC and track coach and admitted coffee addict. I’ve been running in some way since 5th grade, ran competitively at Colgate University and started doing marathons in 2007 after my kids were born. This fall, at age 42, I’ll be lining up for my 18th marathon where I’ll be trying to break three hours. I never run without music and Jaybird keeps me going.
Let’s face it, summer running is a beast. Heat, humidity, sun; they’re all forces to be reckoned with. But, if you’re a runner in any way, shape or form, you’re gonna go. Personally, my music usually helps me get through it. Throw on my Freedoms and a good song and, regardless of the temperature, I’m ready to rock. But, even with good tunes, some days are substantially harder than others. I’ve been running for many years and have come up with quite a few ways to beat the summer heat. Below are some of my tried and true methods. I’m often using some, if not most of them, in the blazing hot days of August. And, hey, if it works for me, might as well share it with others. So check these out, lace ‘em up, and go. You got this.
10 Summer Running Tips
1. Run inside. I’m not a huge fan of the tread(dread)mill, but running 20 miles or mile repeats in the heat and humidity doesn’t always appeal either. If it’s really that bad, why not head to the gym? Speed work? Break it up. Head outside for your warmup and cool down but do the hard part inside so you don’t overheat. Long run? Throw your Jaybirds in and watch a movie. It’ll be over before you know it.
2. Plan your route. Always pick routes that have sources of water along the way….water fountains, bathrooms, sprinklers, lakes. Just being able to splash water on your neck or head makes a considerable impact on overall comfort. Shade is your friend, too. Choose the bike path lined with trees as opposed to the city streets. Comfort is key.
3. Start off cool. Consider switching your morning coffee to something cold. When you eat or drink something hot, your body temp tends to spike. Down a hot drink and you’ll be sweating before you leave your front steps. Make coffee the night before and throw it in the fridge for iced coffee the next morning. Or opt for a NUUN with caffeine for your morning boost instead.
4. Freeze your accessories. Throw your hat, visor, headband, sweatbands, whatever, in the freezer and pull them out right before your run. This will cool your main pressure points (head and wrists) down at the start of your run, which will keep your overall body temp down, for a few miles at least.
5. Clover. My running partner and I have coined the term “clovering” for our long runs. Instead of going out to no-man’s land for our 20 milers, we do loops from one of our houses so we can grab fuel and water every 6 miles or so. That way, even if we’re struggling, we know there is water close by which can make a big difference mentally.
6. Break it up. Do half of your run in the am. And half in the pm. Then brag to your friends that you did double sessions because you wanted to, not because you had to.
7. Run naked. When it’s hot and humid out, unless you’re Usain Bolt, you’re gonna run slower. Map your route out ahead of time, leave the watch/fitness tracker behind and JFR. (just f***ing run)
8. Go light. That black, cotton Jaybird tee? Super cute. But not the best choice for summer running. Stick with lightweight, light-colored, moisture wicking fabrics.
9. Start early or wait and go late. In other words, don’t leave your house at noon. It’s not going to be pretty.
10. Distract yourself. Download a new playlist, an e-book, or a podcast. Then put your Freedoms on, settle in and zone out. Distraction is such a powerful tool. Jaybirds plus Bluetooth. Done and done.