Wednesday, July 20, 2016

8 Tips for Running in the Scorching Heat

I'm back from Chicago. This picture says it all:

Giordano's pizza. And, whiskey.

Ken's high school friends who all turned 50 this year. God, they are old. 

Might have gotten a bit crazy after the Cubs game
It was a hugely fun weekend with the boys. No I am not an escort. Just crashed the guys' trip because Ken didn't really tell me it was a guys' trip. I think if you can fart like a champ and deal with penis talk, you're good.

Oh, and we did get in some great runs along Lake Michigan both ways. So thanks for the advice.

Only bad part of the trip: Spirit Airlines. Yeah, that was a shit show.

I have now flown Spirit twice and have had flights cancelled twice. That is 100% of the time, in case you suck at math. Fool me once...I could go on a 15,000 word rant about this, but suffice it to say that if you choose Spirit to save money you will be paying hundreds more in the long run when they cancel your flight, only offer you a flight 4 days later, don't help with re-booking and don't compensate for hotel.

Oh, and seats don't recline. I am surprised there is not a slot to put in a quarter so you can lean back your seat. At least it doesn't cost to take a huge dump on the plane. In the cockpit. JK.

Moving on.

So, like you all I have been suffering through some sweltering summer runs. 

In my TRR Training I am out there for 4+ hours at a time, on the trails, at altitude. Dehydration, cold sores from the sun, crying, extreme thirst and ridiculous fatigue have all been part of my training. I have tried to be really careful about fueling, hydration, taking my SaltStick tabs and recovery. But the heat still sucks the life out of you. This chart will make you feel better.


I've come up with some tips for running in the heat. These have helped me, so I hope they help you too.
  1. Strip down. Wear as few clothes as you can without being arrested. Wear light colored, loose, wicking clothing.
  2. Run first thing, or after the sun starts to set. Avoid getting out there between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  3. Adjust your pace. Slow the heck down. Ideal running temperatures range from 50º-55º. For every five degrees above that, your performance can degrade 2%.  This means that if you are running in 75º  heat, your pace could slow up to 10%! Humidity might make it even worse. Don’t expect you can or will perform the same in the heat (from a study done at Team Oregon).
  4. Do 6 every 15. Try to take in at least 6 ounces of liquid (not including Bud Light) for every 15 minutes of running. Plan your routes where you can replenish your water, or hide it along the way.
  5. Think trees. Or, big buildings. Try to plan your route to include the most shade possible.
  6. Skip the beans and peanut butter. Avoid excess protein intake before and during the run. Protein metabolism produces extra heat (source).
  7. Run with your down coat. If you are planning a race in a hot and/or humid climate, try to acclimate first by mimicking race conditions the best you can. To develop and maintain acclimatization for a race in a warmer climate, assume that each layer of dry clothing or degree of coverage, (i.e. going from short to long sleeved shirt or from shorts to tights), is equivalent to 15 or 20 degrees in temperature (source).
  8. Replenish lost fluids and electrolytes after a run. Some people even weigh themselves pre- and post-run to gauge how much liquid they have lost. If you are doing especially long runs or are running for consecutive days in heat, add salt to foods and select foods high in potassium like bananas.

Worst airline in your opinion? Best? Spirit sucks. I still like Southwest.

What's your best tip for summer running? 



  1. It has been hot a f*ck in Raleigh. I ain't gonna lie. I leave home at 6:15am and I don't have a 4am run in me. So I run in the evening. Usually about 6. It's only 92 or so at that time.
    I usually drink a Nuun before I leave. I run REALLY slow (not a big change) and at least on Wednesday, we provide towels in ice water for after our group run. Those are the serious shizzle.
    I don't travel enough to remember what airlines I don't like. I am leaving in a 1.5 weeks for the Azores. Don't be jealous. I probably won't be running as most everything is hiking for sightseeing.
    I grew up in the 'burbs of Chicago! It's awesome 3 months out of the year!!!

  2. Best airline - Hawaiian, Southwest comes in a close second. Never flown Spirit, thanks to you, I probably never will.

    Those are all great tips for running in the heat. I love to come home and fall into the pool, that helps bring my core temp down the quickest.

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  4. Air Canada. Their motto? "We're not happy till you're not happy." And boy do they exceed expectations.
    Don't forget the sunscreen in the heat, especially if you're doing following suggestion 1. Which I highly encourage.

  5. Ah, Spirit Airlines.....worst.airline.ever. Cheap tickets, my butt! Our horror story: flying home to Atlanta from Orlando on Christmas Eve. 6AM flight. Get to the airport in plenty of time, only for the flight to be delayed. Get on the plane, sit for an hour. De-plane, continue to sit. Get back on the plane (I kid you not), sit. De-plane again because the flight is canceled. "We are going to charter a bus for all of you. It should be here in 3 hours."'s an 8-hour drive. You expect us to wait until 5:00 PM for a bus and THEN ride for 8 hours???? We rented a car and drove back ourselves. Finally got back to metro Atlanta around 11:00. Will not fly Spirit again, I don't care how "cheap" the fares are.....

  6. Boo on Spirit! So glad I picked SW for my internal trips in US.

  7. Tip for summer running-move to somewhere Alaska...I'm! 75 degrees and 99% humidity for most of our 5am runs. Seriously hoping the paces drop when fall comes. It sucks living near the beach-always so freaking humid!

  8. I wonder what the chart looks like for running in south Louisiana, where the humidity today has got to be around 90% and the heat index is in the 100's. Not at night of course, thats only around the 80's. I often dream about how fast I would be if I were running in the 60's every day!!! That'd be a 2 min/mi boost!

  9. I love Southwest too! United is my second choice but I hate paying for my luggage... I'm glad you had fun in Chicago!

  10. My favorite thing about Spirit is how they charge you to check a bag but also to carry one on. WTF? How are you supposed to travel without luggage?

    I'm so sorry we didn't meet up! Glad you had fun.

  11. Yeap running in summer in Australia teaches you quickly how to manage the heat.
    I am already planning my training for a 1/2IM in Western Sydney in November... our summer. Last year at the event it was 36oC!

  12. First- Frontier the seats don't recline either (At least the cheap ones)...BEWARE Second- I tend to pass out every so often. (It's my thing apparently)..My uncle is a cardiologist and he suggested salt tablets however my stomach tends to initiate war on me whenever I rule during a long run. What is your take on salt tablets?

  13. Great tips! I have the temperature chart drilled into my head for these hot and humid summer runs!

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  16. Over 85 use extreme caution? That's been all summer here. Heat index in the triple digits well past sun down.

    I never knew that about protein and heat, thanks!

  17. Great story. Hoping this will help. We are in the 90s now but morning runs are the best. Thank goodness we moved west out of the humidity. Alaska Air is my all time favorite and they are flying all over now.
    Suffering with my first injury now - plantar fasciitis and it sucks. Even when its 90 I'm wishing I was out there....

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