It’s that time of year again…hating your life running outside because it’s hot, and this is what the weather forecast says…
This week in Chicago has probably been the worst as far as heat and humidity, and you would seriously walk outside the door and instantly become covered in sweat. Then you start out on your run and while you feel like you’re putting out an Olympic speed record, you look at your watch and you’re not even sure if people can tell if you’re running or not. It’s so frustrating. I did 3miles of hill repeats yesterday and thought a major organ was going to become dislodged from my body. The sweat was an actual situation, like the brim of my hat was wet. The brim.
So like last year, I’m going to hit you up with some tips for staying cool during your run when it feels like Satan’s jockstrap outside.
Freeze a bandana or scarf and wear it around your neck
This is my favorite, and works like a charm. Just get a pack of those cheapie packs of bandanas at Walmart or Target soak them in water, freeze and tie it around your neck before you head out. It should keep you cool for about half an hour before it totally melts.
Don’t run at high noon
File this under ‘duh’ because, duh. Get those morning runs in early, or run later at night when it cools off a bit. When in doubt, go inside.
Have hydration on hand
I run with a handheld bottle, you might like fuel belts or camelbacks better. You’re going to lose gobs of sweat, and you don’t want to get yourself into a dangerous situation where you’re depleted and looking at a bad case of heat exhaustion/stroke. I like to freeze my bottle half full and then fill it with regular water so it stays cold on my run.
Dress for success
Now is not the time for cotton, or anything that doesn’t move and breathe. Loose fitting, tech fabrics in light colors are the way to go.
Believe it or not, sunscreen can make you feel 20% cooler on a hot day.
Cover your head
I used to be a hat snob. I thought running with a hat on was just lame looking and I wasn’t about to go out there and look lame now! Then I almost died during the 2013 Chicago Women’s Half Marathon, and I started wearing a visor or a hat during the summer. It works. Do it.
Most importantly, go easy and be kind to yourself if you’re running at a way slower pace or need to take walk breaks to get through your training runs. Welcome to the human race. Your body will eventually acclimate and the struggle won’t be so real anymore. Also know that you need to stop if you start feeling cold, tingly, light headed, or short of breath. Those are danger signs and you need to see a medical professional immediately.
Happy Running! Or at least sorta happy running.
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