10 tips for summer running

Published on 04/21/2016

Photo Credit: Jean Beaufort

(Photo Credit: Jean Beaufort)

Remember when you thought it was a really great idea to sign up for a fall marathon? And then you realized that meant you’d be doing 18- and 20-mile long runs in 100-plus degree temperatures. Or maybe you’re trying a running streak, and it’s not called the “run-x-number of-miles-each-day-except-on-days-when-it’s-100-degrees-or-hotter” streak.

There’s no stopping it, the heat is on its way. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to hibernate and stop running! Check out our tips below for staying healthy and keeping your running goals in tact through the Arizona summer.

  1. Hydrate during the day. We can’t emphasize this one enough! Our bodies are 60 percent water by weight, and a loss of water can impair body functions. Drink water constantly throughout the day—and for summer runners, this means more than the typical “eight glasses a day.” Try doubling that. For example, carry a gallon of water with you during the day and aim to drink at least one full jug. You can even add a little friendly competition and see which of your friends or coworkers can drink more water during the day.

  2. Hydrate during your runs. Invest in hydration packs, belts, or hand-held water bottles (or a combination of them!). Drink more frequently than you would when running in cooler temperatures—carry water even during short runs. It’s a good idea to figure out where on your route there is a water fountain or gas station where you can refill.

  3. Get your electrolytes. Electrolytes play an important role in various physiological processes, including muscle contraction. Having the right balance of electrolytes in your body is key, especially in the summer. There is a wide variety of products in different forms that you can take to get in your electrolytes: drink mixes like EFS, Tailwind and Skratch Labs; capsules like SaltStick; and tablets like NUUN.

  4. Slather on the sunscreen. And don’t forget your face! The summer Arizona sun can wreak havoc on your skin, so make sure you apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 everywhere (try Sun Bum’s SPF 30 or SPF 50!). It’s wise to bring a small trial-size pack with you on longer runs so you can reapply.

  5. Eat fruits and vegetables with a high water content. Fruits and vegetables can contain 80 to 98 percent water. Eating water-dense produce such as watermelon, grapefruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery can help improve your hydration.

  6. Avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas/beverages close to a run. These can trigger water loss and dehydrate you.

  7. Start your runs earlier or later. Yes, we know snoozing is fun and sleep is nice. But try running earlier before the sun is up, or after dark (maybe you can use the daylight hours for indoor errands and activities?!). Make sure you have reflective gear and/or lights so that you are easily visible to vehicles in the dark.

  8. Run with a group! Running in 90-degree weather is no fun by yourself. Join a group (Sole Sports has free runs from all three locations), or start your own! Plus, there’s safety in numbers if you’re running when it’s dark out.

  9. Apply anti-chafing products liberally on sweaty days. Try 2Toms’ SportShield sweat- and waterproof roll-on that lasts for 24 hours, Body Glide to help chafed, chapped, or cracked skin, or SBR Trislide, a high performance spray skin lubricant. 

  10. Protect your skin. Sometimes even the strongest sunscreen isn’t enough for the hot Arizona sun. Use protective arm sleeves, hats, apparel that have moisture wicking fabrics, or ultra-light CEP compression sleeves for an extra layer of protection for your skin.

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