This post is sponsored by lululemon and ShopStyle.
Up until I got pregnant, I would always say that I would rather run in 98 degree heat than 30 degree cold. I can only blame it on a hormone shift but ever since I got pregnant, had Finn and have been breastfeeding, I’m more hot-natured than I’ve ever been in my life! It’s pretty wild.
I know summer officially started last week but it’s been 80-90 degrees in Charlotte for a well over a month now. As someone who has lived in the south my whole life, this weather is nothing to bat an eye at. We don’t really start talking about the heat until temperatures hit the triple digits. You just continue as usual and accept that you’re going to be sweaty whether you’re in workout clothes or work clothes.
One thing that I always continue doing during the summer is running! I much prefer running outside to the treadmill and I will brave the heat for the fresh air. Since I’m rather well-versed on hot weather running from my 15+ years of running through southern summers, I wanted to share some tips with you on how to keep running happy when the temperatures rise.
HUMIDITY IS EVERYTHING
Don’t just focus on the number on your weather app. The real killer with summer running is the humidity. Humidity makes temperatures feel much hotter than they actually are and is very taxing on the body. The difference in how I feel running on an 85 degree day with low humidity versus high humidity is night and day. I feel so much lighter and energetic when the humidity is low. I often feel heavy and sluggish in high humidity.
Here’s more on why from Runner’s World…
When you run, your core body temperature naturally rises, and your sweat glands produce droplets that carry excess heat to the surface of the skin, where it evaporates. But humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, so the heat stays put. “On a hot, humid day with no breeze, you have lost a key way to get rid of your building body heat, which can make running dangerous,” says Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., a professor at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota.
Many runners are focused on getting up super early during the summer to beat the heat but in Charlotte, mornings are typically the most humid time of day. Oftentimes, I much prefer to wait until later in the day or early evening to run when it’s less humid. Even though the temperature might be 10 degrees higher, the air is so much lighter.
All that to say…pay attention to the humidity!
PRE-HYDRATION + HYDRATION IS KEY
You need to go into your runs hydrated. Otherwise, you’re fighting a losing battle. During the summer months you should really up your hydration in general, ESPECIALLY if you’re a runner who lives in a humid area. If you go into a run already in the hole when it comes to hydration, you are setting yourself up to feel terrible.
If I’m pushing the stroller I always bring a water bottle along and sip it throughout my run. If I don’t have the stroller, I try not to run more than 5 without having a plan for a water stop along the ways. Bring water along with you or plan a route that includes water fountains.
I love the hydration test of weighing yourself before and after you run. It’s a great indicator of how much water you sweated out and reinforces how critical it is to replace those fluids. Remember in replacing them that it’s great to add in an electrolyte. You can sip a sports drink, add a store-bought powder or make your own electrolyte drink.
HATS AND SUNSCREEN
I hardly ever run without a hat during the summer months. I prefer a light colored, lightweight hat like this white one from lululemon. It shades my eyes and face from the sun. I am also careful to wear sunscreen. You don’t realize how much sun you’re getting while running until you you take off your sports bra or watch and notice that you’re rocking pretty serious tan lines.
SHORTEN THE DISTANCE, REDUCE THE INTENSITY
Hot and humid summer runs are not the time to get crazy with your distance or your speed work. I give myself a lot of grace around taking shorter runs with slower paces. I also try not to sign up for early fall distance races that will require me to train through the summer heat.
GET THE RIGHT GEAR
Having the right gear for your run goes a long way when it comes to your comfort. I almost exclusively run in lululemon Hotty Hot shorts.
And recently, I’ve been loving the 4″ long version. The lululemon Hotty Hot shorts are hands-down my favorite running shorts…ever. They fit so well! The Hottie Hot shorts are lightweight, breathable and they dry quickly. I am never pulling on them to adjust them. They don’t fall down or ride up, and the liner never does the butt creeping thing. Basically feels like wearing nothing!
When it comes to bras, I usually only wear a bra to run. It just feels cooler and more free to run without a top. I am currently a huge fan of all things high waisted and long line so the lululemon Energy Long Line bra is a new favorite of mine.
It’s a medium support bra made for training/running/yoga for A-C cups. I personally feel like the long line style gives me even more support than the regular Energy bra. It features lululemon’s luxtreme fabric which is sweat wicking, has four-way stretch and doesn’t shrink.
Note, I am not the person to come to for advice on more supportive bras but I’ve heard great things about the Enlite bra from lululemon.
When I do run in a tank, I need it to be lightweight and breathable. The Seek Simplicity tank is perfect for this. It’s a light and soft ribbed tank that can be worn two ways. If you prefer a higher neck in the front, turn it around! Personally, I love that the length is hip skimming and not super long.
Despite my recent heat aversion, I fully plan to run my way through this summer and embrace the sweatiness of it! Being mindful of the humidity, hydrating properly, protecting myself with a hat and sunscreen, taking it a little easier and wearing the right gear are all keys to staying as comfortable as possible during sweaty summer runs. You can shop the whole look of what I’ve linked to in this post here.
I’d love to hear from you…
Would you pick a freezing cold run or a hot summer run?
Do you make any changes to your running routine when the temperatures rise? Any tips to share?
All photos in this post are by Deeana Kourtney Photography.