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Warm Weather Running: The Gear

It seems not so long ago that the running community was training for Spring races through the dead of winter and dealing with cold, dark runs and streets covered in snow.

Well, those days are behind us now.

I went for a quick run after work today before I had to teach BodyPump and temperatures were in the mid 90s. It was by far the warmest conditions I’ve run in yet this year and as a born and raised southerner, I know this is just the start of a long summer of hot and humid days.

I arrived back at my car winded and dripping in sweat after just 25 minutes of running. Since my Cold Weather Running post was a hit, I decided that I would share my favorite gear and strategies for dealing with warm weather runs. Today I’m going to focus on gear and tomorrow strategies for surviving a summer full of hot runs!

My #1 must have for warm weather running is my FuelBelt. I seriously won’t go over three miles without it if the temperatures are 85 or above. I know many people are hesitant to use FuelBelts for fear of discomfort and the general geekiness factor but I assure you, they are worth getting used to!


You will rarely find me running without a hat. During the summer I like lightweight white hats. I love the Nike Daybreak Running Hat. I buy a new one every year (even though you can wash it the white gets kind of gross).  The hat helps keep the sweat out of my face and shields me from the strong summer sun.

I’ve blogged about this tank several times before but the Lululemon Power Y Tank is my go-to for almost every activity –  yoga, running, teaching BodyPump. I have it in five different colors and you can almost always find me wearing one. I love that the built-in support means I don’t have to layer a sports bra underneath and the thin straps in the back allow for unrestricted movement. I will say that this might not be the ideal choice for running for those who need more support.

Some days I prefer a light white singlet over a fitted, thicker top. This Nike Race Day Singlet is perfect for those runs.

I also admit that there are times when it’s so hot that I can’t stand to even have something covering my torso and I will just wear a sports bra and shorts to run.

Meet my new favorite running shorts. The Lululemon Run Speed Shorts are perfect for warm weather runs. First, the waist band is so comfortable and doesn’t leave an imprint on my skin. Second, I love, love, love the pocket in the back for my iPod, keys, gels…whatever. And last, they are lightweight and so breathable with great built-in ventilation.

I love G2 and rely on it to replenish electrolytes that I lose on hot runs and during really hot yoga classes. G2 has half of the calories of traditional Gatorade. I did just learn that it contains artificial sweeteners though and I try to avoid those. I may be switching back to normal Gatorade and just water it down. I know that I will get comments suggesting coconut water as a more natural alternative to Gatorade and while I do enjoy coconut water, Gatorade is much more budget friendly a little easier for me to drink on a regular basis.

I hope that was helpful! Stay tuned for part two!

Share some of your favorite warm weather running gear!

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) June 1, 2011, 4:13 am

    I definitely need to get a fuel belt! But I just hate the idea of one bouncing around…worth it though as you said!

    My ultimate warm weather running gear is my fave Nike Dri-fit tank tops. I don’t know what I’d do without that sweat-wicking material! 😛

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:16 pm

      emma – my fuel belt doesn’t bounce at all! i am a bit of a nerd though and wear it pretty high on my waste. i forget it’s even there!

  • Becky June 1, 2011, 6:50 am

    It’s definitely summer in RI, too! I always run really early when I know it’s going to be hot. I also carry a Camelbak. I could never get used to the FuelBelt, but I’m sure the Camelbak is equally (if not more!) dorky looking. Hydration is key!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:17 pm

      loved your pose about seasons changing and workouts! i use camelbaks for hiking but have never tried one for running. i don’t really care how nerdy i look with my fuel belt, it’s better than dying of thirst!

  • Holly @ Pink Runner June 1, 2011, 6:55 am

    I should try a fuel belt because I hate carrying a water bottle. I know gatorade isn’t the most natural drink, but it tastes so good in the summer!

  • Ash June 1, 2011, 7:56 am

    Thanks for the hints!! As a newbie to running they are all very helpful!!!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad June 1, 2011, 8:10 am

    I’m visiting Lululemon in a few weeks and will definitely be checking out that tank and shorts!

    Another thing I never leave the house without is sunscreen. Face, shoulders, chest, and back! Annoying and time-consuming? Yes, but when I’m 50 I want my body to look like I’ve been running outside, NOT my face 🙂

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:19 pm

      totally agree on the sunscreen, kristy! i added it to the list for my “survival strategies” post.

      yay for a lululemon shopping trip!

  • Jen June 1, 2011, 8:13 am

    I cannot believe these hot days are already upon us! I love the Lulu speed shorts!

    Last year, I thought it would be fun to run a 16 miler at 4pm when it was 100 degrees. I actually did loops around my house and stopped every few miles to run inside, rinse off with a cold shower, and then head back outdoors. Of course it was my slowest long run ever, but the shower trick really helped!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:19 pm

      jen – i shared this story in my latest post! what dedication!

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 1, 2011, 8:59 am

    I love this post and can’t wait to try out a Lululemon tank! It makes me want to start planning my post-baby body plan right away… I miss being able to push myself in these crazy temperatures.

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:20 pm

      brittany, i’m so excited to follow your pregnancy journey but i am also looking forward to following your post-baby body plan!

      i hope you are comfortable in this heat this summer! i feel for you!

  • stephanie June 1, 2011, 9:19 am

    Wow, that is some hot weather. Good for you for running anyway! I’d end up on the treadmill inside the Y.

    I make sure to bring water too on those really hot days. I also wear a visor and sometimes run in a sports bra only.

    • stephanie June 1, 2011, 9:20 am

      not a sports bra only! I do wear shorts too. lol

      • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:21 pm

        hahahaha! love this comment!!!! 😉

  • Bess @ Bess Be Fit June 1, 2011, 9:23 am

    unless you get outside early enough the temps are just ridiculous in NC right now! its 85 in Durham at 9:20 but the humidity is ridiculous…I’m also about to go celebrate national running day outside and I will def be wearing shorts and a tank! Or maybe just a sports bra! I need that running hat though!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:22 pm

      get the hat, it makes a huge difference!

      hope you enjoyed your world run day run and survived the outside run! 🙂

  • Lori June 1, 2011, 9:30 am

    For some reason I like running in hot weather….

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:22 pm

      me too – especially now that i practice hot yoga so much. i think my body is more acclimated to it.

  • Cheryl June 1, 2011, 9:30 am

    G2 has ace k in it (acesulfame potassium)…which is what they use for equal/sweet and low! Crystal Light makes a fitness powder now that sweetens with stevia so its really low in calories but no artificial sweeteners – it’s good!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:24 pm

      cheryl – thank you, thank you, thank you for your comment! i am going to switch back to watering down normal gatorade now. i really try to avoid artificial sweeteners.

  • Alaina June 1, 2011, 9:32 am

    Thanks for the great warm weather tips!!

    I wear Under Armour wicking socks because I hate sweaty feet. Ew. Haha. I also wear a Nike Dri-fit tank top; I love it!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:24 pm

      great point on the socks!!!!

  • Beth June 1, 2011, 10:48 am

    any tips or recommendations on choosing a fuel belt? I’m running the rock ‘n’ roll marathon in Savannah November 5 and want something that will be great through the training and race.

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:25 pm

      beth – i would just go to a running store and try several styles on. i think they’re a must for marathon training. it might be awkward the first couple runs but you’ll get used to it.

      i like the four bottle models so that the weight is more evenly distributed around my waist. most belts have pockets too that are great for gels/cell phones.

  • Whitney June 1, 2011, 12:44 pm

    I’ve been running at 5 am to avoid the direct sun. The humidity is still awful but at least the sun is not up.

    …and i have bought 2 power Y tanks recently because of you endorsing them 🙂 LOVE them!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:26 pm

      whitney – awesome job on the 5 a.m. runs!!! i agree, the humidity is terrible in the mornings but at least it’s cooler.

      yay for power y’s. they are the BEST! so versatile.

  • Annie June 1, 2011, 3:34 pm

    This post came just in time! I’ve recently relocated from PA and, though I’m not a stranger to running in heat, this Southern weather is gonna take some getting used to. I don’t want to surrender to the indoor treadmill for the next few months, so I appreciate the tips!! Lululemon will most likely be seeing about 40% of my next pay check… I’m ok with that. 😉

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:27 pm

      annie – it will definitely take some time for your body to acclimate to the southern heat + humidity. just take it slow and listen to your body! you’ll get there!

  • Holly @ Rust Belt Runner June 1, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Love the post!

    -A towel for my car seat
    -H20 handheld
    -HALO headband or visor
    -Bondi Band headband

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:27 pm

      the towel for the car seat is a GREAT call!

  • Pam June 1, 2011, 3:54 pm

    Love the post! I can’t live without my Nike running hat either or G2 🙂 I personally love the new Under Armour HeatGear t-shirts- I swear no matter how hot it is, they keep you dry!

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:28 pm

      i’ve heard great things about the UA HeatGear. I will have to check it out!

  • Yin June 1, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been looking into getting a hat for the hot weather. Is there other hat brands that you (highly) recommend?

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:28 pm

      I’ve only purchased the Nike hats. I would just look for anything that is super light-weight and made from moisture-wicking material.

  • Kathryn June 1, 2011, 8:04 pm

    seriously charlotte. i coulda used some more 75. thanks for bringing the hot weather run reality to us and encouraging us to get out anyway.

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:29 pm

      agreed! it was a cold winter and it’s going to be a HOT summer!

  • Katie June 1, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Thanks for this post! It’s getting hot here too (90’s!) and I was on the lookout for a water belt. It’s a bit pricey, but I can tell it’s worth it! A Q about the shorts…are they pretty short? I have a bit of a booty, and I don’t want my cheeks showing. =P

    • Jen June 2, 2011, 12:30 pm

      katie – yes. way short! the speed shorts are the shortest shorts that lululemon makes. they make other styles that are a bit longer!

  • claire June 5, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Great info! I have recently started running again and will use some of these tips on gear and survival skills 😉

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