5 Ways to Run Strong This Summer

As we embrace the heat of the summer months, staying motivated and performing well in endurance running requires a strategic approach. Whether you’re training for a marathon, triathlon, or just maintaining your fitness routine, here are the top 5 ways to ensure you "run strong" throughout the season.

  1. Stay Hydrated: The Foundation of Summer Running
    We know this sounds silly and obvious but it’s a simple idea that is so often overlooked. Hydration is even more critical during summer running. The heat and humidity can lead to increased sweat loss, which can quickly lead to dehydration if not properly managed. To stay hydrated, drink water consistently before, during, and after your runs. Consider using electrolyte supplements during longer sessions to replenish the minerals lost through sweat. Remember, if you’re thirsty, you’re already on your way to dehydration, so keep fluids handy and sip regularly

  2. Adjust Your Schedule: Beat the Heat
    Plan your runs during cooler parts of the day, typically early in the morning or later in the evening. Avoid running during the peak heat times between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must run during these hours, try to find shaded routes or invest in a lightweight, breathable running hat and UV-protective clothing to help manage the sun exposure. Direct exposure to the sun will quickly multiply the dehydration danger we outlined in our first tip.

  3. Acclimate to the Heat: Tolerance comes with Time
    Gradually acclimate your body to the warmer temperatures. Start by running shorter distances at a slower pace and gradually increase your mileage and intensity over several weeks. This gradual adaptation helps your body improve its ability to cool itself and reduces the risk of heat-related illnesses. Likewise, if you have to run on a particularly hot day and do not run in the heat often, be extremely cautious.

  4. Wear Appropriate Gear: Light and Bright
    Invest in lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing that helps to keep you cool by drawing sweat away from your body. Light-colored clothes reflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors, which absorb heat. Don’t forget your sunglasses and a breathable hat to protect your head and eyes from the sun.

  5. Listen to Your Body: Know When to Slow Down
    Summer running isn’t about pushing yourself to the limits in unsafe conditions. Be attentive to your body’s signals. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, nausea, and extreme fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop running, seek shade, and hydrate. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are not thresholds you want to cross, especially at a race. It’s important to prioritize your health and safety over sticking rigidly to a training plan.

Running strong in the summer doesn’t just mean pushing through the heat—it means adapting to it. By following these tips, you can enjoy your runs safely and effectively throughout the season. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, remember that the key to summer running success is preparation and awareness. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and let’s keep crushing our summer runs!