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Running in the Heat

Coach Advice

5 Tips for Adjusting to Running in the Heat

Every year it’s just as challenging as the last to adjust to running in the heat. You would think that after 20 or so years of running that I would have this process down pat, but it seems I still need a reminder each year. I feel like those first few runs in the heat are miserable, and then as I remember how to adjust and begin to get acclimated, running starts to feel so much better.

So whether you are a new or an experienced runner, it’s always helpful to get a reminder about how to adjust to running in the summer!

1. Get out there and start running in the heat

The first step is to just get yourself out there! You won’t adjust by running on the treadmill or skipping your runs. The first week or two of running in hot weather is going to be tough, but you might as well get it out of the way early in the season.

2. Train your brain as you make the adjustment

I really think a huge part of adjusting to running in the heat is mental. Especially when it comes to humidity. I’m not sure that I ever really “acclimate” to humidity, but my mind gets better at accepting the conditions and helping me to push through. Try to follow your workout schedule as planned with some adjustments as needed, but really work on staying positive while running in the heat.

I also like to remind myself of all the reasons why I love summer running, and I think about how much I complained about the weather all winter. Mind games really do work!

3. Ignore your pace in the heat

The heat will slow you down and that’s ok! One of the reasons I have always been a fan of fall marathon training is because my paces feel so much easier once the weather cools down. If you work hard now, it will really pay off this fall. Don’t be afraid to take walking breaks if you need to. Just get out there, get moving, and know that running will feel a little more normal as you start to adjust to the weather.

4. Dress the part for warm-weather running

Make sure you have some good summer running clothes to make the hot weather a little more tolerable. I like wearing long compression shorts when it’s really hot and humid to avoid chafing. Sweat-wicking tank tops in light colors work well (but don’t forget the body glide!) And make sure you have a good pair of socks to prevent blisters. If you are wearing the right clothes while running in the heat, it will be one less thing to worry about as you are running.

5. Hydrate properly for running in the heat 

Another important thing to remember is to hydrate well all day long. Not just right before a run, or while you are out running. I know that when I increase my water intake throughout the day I feel so much better, and this is extra important when it’s hot out. Sometimes I will bring water with me on longer runs, but if I’m hydrated throughout the day I don’t need to worry as much on shorter runs. (Just make sure to rinse the soap out of your water bottle!)


These tips are meant to be a helpful guide, but it’s important to remember that everyone reacts differently to heat.  Always prioritize your health and well-being. Pay close attention to how you’re feeling throughout your run, and don’t hesitate to adjust your pace, distance, or even cut your run short if needed. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Happy running!

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