Crazy hot sun and killer humidity do not an ideal run forecast make. But that’s generally what August brings. And while the treadmill can totally be your friend this time of year, you don’t always want to head inside when there’s so much abundant sunshine left (and you can feel the end of summer approaching). Double-edged sword!
So what to do about the potential dehydration, sweat that flows in rivers, and running shorts that stick to and chafe your skin while you jog? To start, you can get outside bright and early, shoot for shadier routes, and be religious about your sunscreen. But want to get creative?
We asked expert run coaches and trainers, who’ve seen their fair share of scalding pavement, for their favorite running-in-the-heat hacks. Give these a shot before Labor Day is here. —Lisa Elaine Held
I run with a few ice cubes wrapped in a bandana and tie it around my neck. When the ice melts, I wrap it around my head. Works wonders!
One thing I like to do is map out where water is available (i.e., if I’m running in Central Park, I make sure I have a sense of where water fountains are located), because I hate carrying water with me. If the run is long, and it’s hot out, I can also just tuck into a deli, grab a water, chug some, and then head back out. I also try to be nice and hydrated before a run. I pop some watermelon (a very hydrating fruit) and drink enough water a couple of hours prior.
The Run S.M.A.R.T Project
Wear a light colored hat to keep the sun off the top of your head and face. If it’s really hot, run your top and hat under cold water before heading out the door. This will make a huge difference in keeping your core body temperature down.
Jessica Green and Meghan Reynolds
Hot Bird Running
No matter how awesome your shorts are, most can’t stand up to East Coast humidity without starting to sag and chafe your butt and inner thighs on longer summer runs. Our advice: stick to spandex shorts or crops on your long runs. Also, a quick, easy, and cheap, way to eliminate chafing is to use deodorant. I put it on along the edges of my sports bra on really hot and humid days!
Finish Line Physical Therapy
Consider having two pairs of running shoes on hand to switch off using between workouts—especially for those super-hot days when you sweat buckets. I went to college in Florida—and I sweat a lot anyway—so my shoes wouldn’t dry out for a day or two. It’s the worst running in soggy shoes! Tip: It also helps to stuff your shoes with newspaper after your run to help absorb the moisture.