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Independence Day is tomorrow, which means it’s officially summer! Since Texas temps get up into the 100’s on a regular basis for three months of the year, I figured it was high time I shared how to stay cool when all you want to do is bathe in Chick-fil-A lemonade.
Especially if you have your sights set on a fall race, those summer miles have to get done somehow. Here are nine practical tips to help you beat the heat if you can’t stand having an exclusive relationship with the treadmill.
- Work up to it. Like any good training plan, it all starts with a mile. You can try running the same distance once a week, then graduate to a longer distance when you feel better about it, or you can see how long you can run outside and add on a little bit each week. If you can only take one mile, maybe you run more frequently than normal, but run shorter distances.
- Hydrate. All the time. As a lifeguard, we were always told that if we were thirsty, that meant we were already dehydrated. I try to drink at least a full 8 cups of water each day. I overheat much less easily/see a HUGE difference on the days when I meet my goal. If you get sick of water/want more electrolytes, nuun and Ultima are two of my favorites (full review of Ultima here).
- Invest in some key lightweight apparel pieces. I’m not someone who feels comfortable in a sports bra and shorts, so this also makes a huge difference. Here are some of my favorite tank, short, sports bra, hat and sock options.
- Time your run with the sun. If you must run outside, try to run as close to dusk as possible, or go in the morning before the sun gets too high (pre-9 a.m.). I prefer the evening because it’s less humid and I’m not a morning person. Even when sweating buckets, I appreciate the cooling effect of sweat evaporating (gross, I know); it somehow feels less muggy.
- Bring a towel. Especially if you’re running in the morning, wiping that sweat off of your body will help add to the cooling effect.
- Wear sunscreen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You need sunscreen! Don’t put yourself a an increased risk for cancer. Here’s my favorite facial sunscreen, and here’s a zinc-based option if you prefer that.
- Sunglasses. Not only do sunglasses make you look and feel awesome, but blocking the sun from your eyes is helpful for your vision. I also find that it helps keep the sweat out of my eyes. I’m currently loving these from Shady Rays!
- Eat lighter. I enjoy eating lower carb/less heavy foods during the summer, because it helps me avoid that really sick feeling when you’ve eaten too much. Feeling better helps motivate me to power through a workout.
- Face the inevitability of indoor running life. At least some of the time. Finding a gym with good equipment has really helped here; one of my prerequisites is finding a gym with a track specifically, and second is working TV screens on the treadmills.
That’s everything I do! Let me know if you have any other tips in the comments.
P.S. If you’re planning to do some shopping this holiday, here are a couple of good promos that run through the 4th: