Some runners like it hot. And we’ve got to agree, there’s a lot to enjoy when hitting the dirt or the pavement on a nice toasty day. But if it’s really hot outside, it’s important to take a few extra precautions. Take a look at our top tips for running safely in hot temps.
1. Hydrate Pre-Run
If you’re already a little dehydrated when you head out the door for a run, you’re risking severe dehydration and heat exhaustion – especially on a hot day. Many runners will drink at least 16 ounces of fluid (either water or a drink mix) about two hours prior to heading out into blazing temp, and follow it up with another 8-16 ounces 15 minutes before starting their workout.
2. Protect Yourself from UV Rays
Running in the sun’s rays for a short period of time nets you a little Vitamin D, but there can be too much of a good thing. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays with clothing that has UPF protection (like the Asics ARD Singlet or a pair of arm coolers), running sunglasses and a quality sunscreen. Also, seek out as much shade as you can while you’re out.
3. Bring Fluid with You
If you plan to be out for more than 20 or 30 minutes when the weather’s scorching, it’s a good idea to bring hydration. Your hydration needs during your run will depend on how much you sweat and how long you’ll be out running. In hotter temps it’s a good idea to drink about five to eight ounces of water (that’s one or two big thirsty sips) every fifteen minutes or so.
4. Wear Minimal Clothing
No, we are not advocating going streaking in the quad. But of course the less you have on, the more airflow you’ll be able to enjoy. The “open” design of a singlet, tank top or split short can help sweat evaporate more quickly to keep you cooler and more comfortable. Keep in mind that clothes that expose a lot of skin are best for morning/evening runs or those cloudier hot days when your skin won’t be sizzled by as many UV rays.
5. Wear Relaxed Fit Clothing
Clingy baselayers are fine when the temps mellow out, but you’ll be more comfortable on a hot day in apparel items that let in a bit of a breeze. Take a look at the “Apparel Performance Characteristics” on each apparel page to see if an item is relaxed-fitting. A couple of our favorite lightweight, relaxed tops are the Sugoi Jackie Singlet and the Brooks Race Day Singlet.
6. Choose High-Tech Fabrics
A common misconception is that wicking materials will keep you cooler. They won’t. These materials are designed to pull sweat off the body, so the cooling effect caused by evaporation of sweat on the skin is reduced. But there are materials, including IceFil and Pearl Izumi’s In-R-Cool, that actually do help to cool your skin, and can do a better job than if you were wearing nothing at all (there we go with that streaking thing again). See our full selection of running apparel with cooling fabric technology to learn more.
7. Run with a Partner
On a hot day, buddy up with another runner when you head out to train. Keep an eye on each other and stay attentive for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion, like nausea and dizziness. Even if you’re a very determined athlete, heat exhaustion is not something you “push through.” If either one of you experiences symptoms, be sure to take action quickly to avoid serious harm.