Friday, July 22, 2016

5 Reasons to Love Running in the Heat

Hot enough for you? Everyone is talking about this summer's heat. Mother Nature has turned on the blast furnace in regions of the US that are usually more temperate. The media are out in force, reporting on the heat and giving advice. I'm sure there will be the requisite attempts to fry an egg on the sidewalk, bake cookies on the car dashboard, and videos of kids opening hydrants in the city.

Instead of complaining about the summer heat, I invite you to embrace the warmth. Because 6 months from now, we will be heading into the depths of winter.


If you are looking for advice on how to run in the heat, this is not that post.


Gentle reminder: If you do run outside in the heat, be smart and take all the proper precautions. In the spirit of the Friday Five, I've got five links from some of my favorite and most knowledgeable bloggers with some great advice for running in the heat:

Run With No Regrets
Marcias Healthy Slice
Eat Pray Run DC
Suzlyfe
Shut Up and Run

And remember, Christmas is only 156 days away.

This was a warm Underground Polar Express Run last December!
The goal of this post is to make you LOVE running in this hot weather. Ok maybe not LOVE, but at least to get you to TOLERATE running outside in the dog days of summer. We've got the sun, blue skies, green grass, flowers. Old guys in speedos. If that visualization doesn't entice you out the door, what better way to remind ourselves of all that is good about summer running than by looking back at pictures of winter running? Remember guys, summer is the time of year we long for after the cold, dark months of winter.

If you love running in the winter, this is not the post for you. In fact, I don't even think I know you. Full disclosure: I run outdoors all year round. But it doesn't mean I love running in the winter. Like running in the heat of summer, I try to find the silver lining when I'm out there in the bitter cold and snow.

Yes, I know. Running in the heat is hard. Looking at the Garmin is not rewarding. Our paces are slow, our runs feel so tough. I get it. But it's summer! There's beer at the finish line. I don't want to think about running on the treadmill. Instead of complaining about the heat, let's embrace the benefits that these warm days can bring to our running.

What is there to love about running in the summer heat?

1. Sweat. You sweat like an olympian no matter how fast or slow, or how long or short you are running. I don't know about you, but when I sweat I feel like I worked really hard. Yesterday after my workout with Becky, I went to the park where I run to collect more Pokeballs (don't judge me). This park has 4 Pokestops, all near the parking lot. I walked around for about a half hour, collecting more Pokeballs. It must have been hard work, because I was sweating like a pig. Maybe it was the 80% humidity. Regardless, I'm pretty sure I earned that shower. It was actually my second shower of the morning. My first was earlier, after my run.

I'm pretty sure I earned my shower this day too. I just wasn't very sweaty.
2. You don't have to wear layers of clothes. Which means less laundry. I love the idea of just heading outside in shorts or a skirt and a singlet. In the winter, I have to dress appropriately. And I look like this:

I think it was about -12F this day.
3. The water fountains in all the parks are on. In the winter (and spring and fall as well) the water fountains are turned off in all the parks around where I run. On occasion, we get those warm teaser days and while I love running on those warm days in the off season, there is not water readily available. Those runs remind me of how grateful I am to have drinking fountains in the summer. I plan my routes accordingly. And along with the access to water, the bathrooms are open. Another plus.

No water fountains on this run. Just lots of frozen water.
4. Running in the summer heat conditions you for fast running in the cooler fall temps. You Florida folks know what I'm talking about here. Heat training is a thing. It's all about the red blood cells. There are probably easier ways to increase your hematocrit than running in hot weather. You can ask Lance all about that. But I can guarantee you that smart running in warm conditions will benefit you when you line up for your fall marathon.

A half marathon almost PR on a cold fall day last November! Heat training...
5. You get badass points for running outside. Yesterday morning on my run around the neighborhood, I had more than one person tell me I was crazy, which I took as a compliment. Were those people glistening in badassery sweat? I don't think so. Non-runners don't get us. Knowing that you pushed yourself through a brutally hot run will boost your confidence and provide you with strength that you can draw on during a tough spot in a race. You can also talk about your runs in this heat in casual conversation. Nothing says badass like a runner taking it outside in "feels like 90F+" conditions.

Cold conditions at the retention pond.

Do you like running in the heat? Or do you loathe it? What do you do to get yourself through a hot run?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta of Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the Friday Five! 












I'm also really excited to tell you all that I have a guest post on Jill Conyers' blog today! It's all about running and yoga, my two favorite things!

69 comments :

  1. Living in Georgia, I must say that I absolutely LOATHE running outside in the summer!Right now I'm longing for winter! Keep in mind however, winter here is quite different from the winters we had while living in Connecticut!

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    1. It's been brutal here this past week--I think we are getting a taste of what you Southerners deal with on a prolonged basis! But I'd still take this over our winters. Any day.

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  2. I literally cannot stand running in the heat (my body more than me) but I do like that there are less layers involved and that it will make fall running just that much more enjoyable!

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    1. Kind of tongue in cheek--but I'd still take this weather over winter. I don't like racing in the heat, but I don't mind a slow run.

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  3. Loathe running in the heat. I sweat like a crazy person regardless of temps, heat just makes it worse. I'll do it and take precautions but just, no.

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    1. It's nice not to be training for anything. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I was in marathon training!

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  4. I don't care much for either extreme, and this week has been extreme. But you can always walk. OR crawl. And swear. Pokeball bonanza! I let a Zubat get away from me yesterday. So ticked.

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    1. Oh yay! You're playing too! I knew I couldn't be the only one. I ran out of balls last night when I was walking Cocoa. And I couldn't collect any more because those storms were rolling in.

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  5. I'm one of those "love winter running" people lol

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    1. I don't love winter running but I make the best of it!

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  6. Yes, I loathe running in the heat. Which is kind of odd, when you think about it, because I hate the cold, too, and pretty much only interviewed with companies south of the mason dixon line in college (although I did get flown out to Chicago for an interview!).

    Yes, I do love the freedom of running in no layers. But the chafing . . . well, actually, so far, so good on that front this summer. 7 steamy miles on tap tomorrow so we'll see what happens.

    I've had to run on the treadmill more than I'd like to, but that's because I haven't always been able to get outside when it's cooler.

    Tomorrow I'm planning a trip to my favorite local ice cream place as a reward for getting up way too early to run. Unfortunately my run buddy in my group is now injured so I'll probably still be running solo. :(

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    1. I will admit to complaining about running in the heat. But looking back to find pictures for this post set me straight.

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  7. I have no choice about running in the heat - our hot season here goes from April to October...and sometimes we'll get a hot December, and January - ugh. I will embrace the badass points that come with running in these temps plus the high humidity, but all things said, I'd much rather live in a more temperate climate year-round.

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    1. Ideally, I'd like to live in San Diego. But you know, it's not practical...

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  8. I love running without layers and it being light outside until late.

    It's tough but I prefer it to the cold too which I do because I have to.

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    1. The light in the early morning is a bonus too!

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  9. I don't like running in the heat, but I don't have a choice in Texas, even inside. The gyms are hot, the fitness rooms are hot, it's hot hot hot. But! I also feel really accomplished after a hot run because I'm sweating and that's proof that I had a good run, and I feel good. And a cold shower feels really good after said run.

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    1. See, that's what I'm talking about! The satisfaction of finishing a run in the heat! And the shower after is heavenly.

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  10. A) Thank you for tagging my post! B) I think that I am going to run the race tomorrow naked.

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  11. The older I get the more I like hot weather. I'll be a perfect snowbird when I'm in my 70's and 80's. I think it stems from my thyroid issues and always feeling cold. Of course I'd prefer to run in 50 or 60 degree weather but I'll take the 80's and up over the 30's and below.

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    1. I don't have thyroid issues, in fact I'm going through this thing where I feel hot a lot of the time... but I'd still rather run in the heat that the cold.

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  12. I was one of those people who used to constantly complain about running in the summer. I've tried a new approach over the last two years of just not trying to think about it and acclimatize the best I can. But holy crap, when I'm running with heat indexes in the 100's your lovely winter pics make me wish it were winter again! I won't say I'm counting down the days until fall, but .... :)

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    1. I don't ever wish that I was running in winter again. But the fall is ok!

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    2. That first day in September/October of temps in the 50s and no humidity will be wonderful.

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  13. I do love that I don't have to think about what I will wear for my runs in the summer. Just shorts and a tank top. No wondering if I have enough layers or too many layers or if I need gloves or what to do with my gloves after I warm up. It is my favorite thing once spring hits.

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    1. Seriously, peeling off those layers is so nice! I like the freedom of running in a tank and shorts too.

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  14. Running in heat is just something we do down South! Yes we can complain about it but it does not change it at all! If you run and live in the South you run in heat more than likely 8 months out of the year. I actually like a good sweaty run over a finger numbing run any day. I like running in tank tops rather than hats and gloves. My number one tip is the earlier the better. Even at 10PM it can still be 85 degrees here!

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    1. Now your winters I wouldn't mind at all. Do you ever get used to the heat and humidity?

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  15. Totally agree with all of these. I don't like it, especially when humidity increases, but I think there are benefits. I sometimes shorten my run and do the rest on the bike. It's a nice brick workout.

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    1. I like the brick workout too! And the bike is always a great option in the heat.

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  16. Haha! I agree! I'll take summer over winter anyday! I figure I complain enough about being cold in winter... that I can't really complain about being hot too! :-)

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  17. Way to look on the bright side! I've been either running on the treadmill or getting up early to try to beat the heat. I've had a few brutally hot runs, though, and I learned the hard way NOT to ever leave my water at home haha.

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    1. It's been a tough summer to be training for anything!

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  18. Nice job of taking the lemons and turning them into lemonade! I very much agree with you on #3 and #4. It's nice to not have to haul around my own hand-held water bottle during the summertime. And fall feels HEAVENLY after months of training in heat and humidity. I'd also add that it's nice to not have to debate on what to wear. During the cooler months, I fret between possibly being overdressed vs underdressed, wearing tights vs capris, long sleeve vs short-sleeved, etc., etc. etc. In the summertime, there's not a lot of variation!

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  19. Sweat is always good and not having it freeze to your face is also a plus. I don't hate it but I do find it more challenging and draining. Like you said, soon we will all be complaining about the cold

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    1. I'm feeling really drained after my bike ride today! It was brutal!

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  20. Outdoor runners rock! Sweat, less laundry and yes I will take the crazy badass neighbor status- I can live with it!

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    1. Crazy badass running through the sprinkler neighbor!

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  21. I love running in the heat! And after reading your post and seeing your winter pics, I am reminded of how much it sucks running in the cold! So now I love the heat even more. :) Right now I am at the point in the summer where I am acclimated to the heat. I am not breaking any speed records, but I am able to regulate my temperature just fine.

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    1. I can manage as well. Of course, I'm not running very far these days!

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  22. I will TOTALLY give you less laundry. Otherwise, give me 40 and below and I'm a happy happy runner gal!!! I have to really grin and bear it above 60, and think of my friends who loathe the winter and channel how one of them really tried hard to embrace the cold last winter and I try and embrace the heat. That said I'm on the shelf and biking right now, but that's like a blast furnace on the roads... Maybe in August I'll be able to lace up the shoes and run. Great post!!

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    1. I do like the faster splits on my cold weather runs, but there's something to be said for running in such brutal conditions!

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  23. I am with you - I would much rather run in the heat and I am always thinking about how much better it is than the cold. However, I have been running much less than I usually do in the summer so I have barely noticed the heat this year. I know its a different story when you're trying to do 20 milers in the middle of July!

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  24. Awesome post! While I wouldn't say I love running in the heat, but as a new Floridian training through the intense summer for the NYC Marathon I would say I have embraced the heat. It def makes you faster in cooler weather. I took a trip to NY and ran a familiar race that I always thought was super humid and guess what? This year it wasn't and I ran faster than I had been running in a while!

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    1. That Florida heat training is no joke! There are rewards to be reaped for training in those conditions, aka faster splits in cooler climes!

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  25. I sweat year-round regardless of weather conditions, and I was actually concerned that I may be overheating yesterday when I noticed I stopped sweating - which can be a sign of heat exhaustion.... I don't like running in heat, but I'll take a sweaty slow slog in heat over not running any day.

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    1. Glad you are ok--kind of scary when you stop sweating!

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  26. Oh, I hate running outside in the summer. But I do it. Year-round (I'm with you in the 0degree temps). The one upside of hot, summer runs? Cold showers and ice baths actually feel awesome.

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  27. I don't mind running in the heat, I just try to get out as early as possible. I have enjoyed marathon training so much more in the summer than in the winter. And yes, I love to sweat ! but hate to smell.....

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  28. I just love this posts. If the heat is tolerable you can really train yourself to sustain running in warmer weather.

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    1. You really have to acclimate. I tried to do that for my Florida half last winter but I didn't do a very good job with it!

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  29. Running in the heat is SO TOUGH. OF course I would much rather run outside than on the treadmill, but I get out early on those super hot days!!i

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    1. If I get out there before the sun, I usually do ok in the heat.

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  30. I'm kicking myself for being lazy and not running up north today!! It was 66 degrees and only 85% humidity. Love this post!

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    1. Only 85% humidity? Really, what were you thinking? LOL

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  31. Well said. I love running in the heat even when i'm complaining. I would much rather run in heat than cold!

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    1. We really don't have a choice this time of year--this year in particular--so we may as well embrace it!

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  32. This week has been especially rough with the heat! Thanks for the great tips!

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    1. If nothing else, putting a positive spin on it helps, right?

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  33. I love to sweat. If I'm lucky enough to have little or no humidity I'm fine with the heat.

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  34. Although our winters aren't quite as tough as chicago's, I'm still not a fan of winter running. I have vowed to never complain about the heat cus I know the alternative! I just want to slap all my local friends who complain about the heat and humidity cus you know they will be the same ones complaining in 6 months when there is snow and ice!

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  35. Thanks for the reminders because I know I will be complaining about the weather when it gets too cold. The best part of a sweaty run is the shower. LOVE it!! I feel like a new woman. :-) Oh, and I am hoping that this year I get to run the Underground Polar Express Run.

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  36. First time reader here, stopped over from fitness friday with Jill! Great post, gotta stay positive! Summer is over too darn fast!

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