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Surviving Summer As A Runner

 

It takes me some time to adjust to running in the warmer temperatures but overall, I just love running this time of year!

There are certain adjustments I need to make to my routine though during the warmer months and factors I need to consider both when running and not running in order to survive summer as a runner.

How I go about surviving the summer as a runner. It's not just about what you do during your run!

1. Sun Exposure.

Running outdoors for prolonged periods of time in the summer really isn’t the best for the skin, even with sunscreen.

So what can we do to protect ourselves aside from finding a shadier path or running earlier or later in the day?

Choose Short Sleeves Instead of Tank Tops.

lululemon run swiftly

Run Swiftly short sleeve shirts offer me a drop more protection from the sun, protecting my neck, chest, back and shoulders, even better than a sunscreen can.

Since the material is sweat wicking, I am not hot and really don’t notice the difference between running in short sleeves instead of a tank.

It’s not that I don’t run in tank tops sometimes, I certainly do, but I usually save those for the really early morning runs when the sun isn’t totally up or if it’s a more cloudy kind of day.

If my run will be more than an hour, you can be sure I have short sleeves on though!

Wear sunscreen

Okay so even with the short sleeve Run Swiftly shirts, I still need a good quality sunscreen on my face and exposed skin.

We must protect our skin from the harmful rays not just because of the skin cancer risks but to limit the signs of aging!

I have been using this SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense for years now and just bought a new bottle for this summer season. It’s perfect for anytime that you are outdoors but great for running too. Your skin will not break out from wearing it on your face while sweating!

Not all sunscreens are created equal which I talked about at length in my Sunscreen post from way back when.

SkinCeuticals sunscreen

Here is the sunscreen cheat sheet for you from that post as a summary of what you want/don’t want in your sunscreen.

sunscreen cheat sheet

Wear a Sunvisor

I don’t know how I used to run without a sunvisor! This lululemon sunvisor is extremely comfortable, washes well and blocks the sun from my face. I usually wear a headband underneath it as well to further keep the sweat away from my forehead too.

Sunvisors (or hats) really take a lot of the sun exposure away from the face helping you to stay a bit cooler. I don’t run with sunglasses but I do find that wearing a sunvisor allows my eyes to relax and not squint to see  < – squinting can cause those crow’s feet wrinkles around the eye area. We don’t want that!

Lululemon Fast Paced Run Visor

Limit sun exposure following my run

This applies for me mainly after long runs in the summer. I learned that I DO NOT do so well sitting by the pool or even the beach after a long run in the hot and humid weather.

My body can only handle so much heat and sun exposure. Too much sun after a hard workout makes me feel dizzy, dehydrated and uncomfortable. If I do happen to go to the beach after a long run, I try to give myself a couple of hours after my run to spend time indoors in the air conditioning and then once outside again, I seek out the shade as much as possible (under an umbrella).

2. My Feet.

Slightly ironic that I started drafting this post last week before I almost hurt my foot! We runners always need to take extra care of our feet but I find this holds even more true in the summer.

Summer means flip-flops, wedges and pretty sandals. While I will never give up my pretty summer shoes, these types of footwear may not always be the best choice.

The less supportive nature of flip-flops and sandals can do a number on our feet and toes, as well as affect our posture causing back pain and other joint pain, all of which may impact how we run the next day or, even worse, cause us to walk weird and risk injury.

I try to wear extremely comfortable flip-flops, choose wedges or heels only when necessary and opt for sneakers when I am doing a lot of leisure walking.

sneakers

If I am going to the mall, as much as I want to wear my flip-flops, I go with an old pair of running shoes instead. It’s not worth hurting my feet by walking in poorly supportive footwear which may in turn affect/hurt my next run.

I also make sure to rotate the flip-flops and sandals that I wear each day, just like I rotate my running shoes.

Other ways I care for my feet in the summer:

  • Coconut Oil – Coconut Oil is the best moisturizer and softens calluses almost immediately. Just slather your feet with coconut oil before bed, put on a good pair of comfy socks that you can sleep in and then take them off in the morning when you wake up. You will notice immediately how soft your feet now are!
  • Frequent Pedicures – I do get regular pedicures throughout the year but in the summer, I make sure to really stay on top of those appointments.
  • I RARELY Walk Barefoot – You will never see me without shoes on outside unless I am at the beach or have my feet on a lounge chair at the pool. Even at the beach, if I am walking in the sand, most of the time, I have sandals on! I refuse to take a chance that I may step on something dangerous, step wrong because there’s nothing supporting my feet. Walking barefoot (unless indoors on carpeting) can also irritate the skin, the bottoms of your feet and possibly cause calluses and rough spots that wouldn’t necessarily happen had you had shoes on in the first place.

3. Fueling & Hydration.

Pre-Run:

As you know, I almost always have some oatmeal with banana before I run, but it’s the ratios of each that I tend to play with on any given day.

Lately I find that heating up a bowl that contains a higher ratio of mashed banana to a smaller amount of oatmeal until it’s good and soupy works really well for me for quicker warm weather digestion. I also make sure to add a pinch of salt to my oatmeal to help increase my blood volume/retain water a bit better during my run which also helps my low blood pressure, often triggered in the heat.

For Long Runs:

  • I can tolerate my Hammer Gels but I take smaller bites at a time because sometimes the heat can mess with my stomach and what I can handle comfortably.
  • I leave water outside in case I get thirsty. Most of the time during the year, I do not drink while I run which probably isn’t smart but it’s the truth.

Post-Run:

  • Sometimes the heat and humidity can take away our post-run appetite even more than usual but we must make sure to refuel as quickly as possible in order to get our electrolytes back to balanced while also getting a jumpstart on repairing our muscles through protein and carbohydrates.
  • I have noticed that after long runs or really hot runs, I cannot tolerate caffeine in coffee and sometimes, decaf bothers me too. This usually only happens in the summer so I try to avoid drinking coffee with my post-run meal. It’s a little hard to do since I am so used to having coffee post-run but I know it’s necessary for me to feel my best. After a few hours and a lot of water, sometimes I can drink some coffee again comfortably.

Water:

Once again, I started this post before the foot doctor told me that I need to be drinking more water to ensure that I am hydrated enough for my activity level (to prevent cramps).

water

I have been refilling my giant Islanders cup like a champ ever since last week and definitely feel an overall positive difference.

Most people who know me personally are shocked when I can say I don’t drink enough water because I really do drink a lot, in fact, it’s the only beverage I drink (aside from coffee).

But, my activity level really does require more which is something I fail to realize, especially in the summer.

water

Other Hydration:

  • Watermelon is a terrific food source for hydration as it is made up of over 90% water content along with a good balance of important electrolytes. As I have said in the past, I love watermelon for quenching my thirst because water cannot always do it for me!
  • I do have Nuun tablets in the house but I honestly don’t love them. If you have a good electrolyte drink that you like, please let me know which it is!

Consider Reading: Electrolytes for Runners: The Definitive Guide

Laura has an ecourse available on mastering your fueling and hydration which looks super informative. I consider registering for her ecourse because as much as we know, we don’t know everything and can always benefit from reading and learning even more about our health, running and nutrition.

Of Possible Interest:

Adjusting To Warm Weather Running

5 Things I Do Everyday To Make Myself A Better Runner

I hope that how I go about surviving summer as a runner encourages you to think about what adjustments you need to make to your summer running routine!

How I Survive Summer as a Runner #summer #running #hydration #summerrunning #fitfluential Click To Tweet

How do you adjust your running routine in the summer?

Please tell me which water bottle you like to take along with you during the day!

Which sunscreen do you use?

 

 

 

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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine June 14, 2016, 5:22 am

    I have been better about drinking water since reading your post the other day! I have 2 large water bottles i usually keep with me at work because sometimes the water cooler runs out, so I make sure to have enough water with me just in case. Although ideally I like to fill at least one more up during the day.
    Thanks for those tips about the sunscreen! It can be confusing but your list makes it easier to know what to look for!
    No comments about the shoe stuff! I think you know my thoughts on all that:)
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Baltimore 10 Miler 2016 Race RecapMy Profile

  • Michele @ paleorunningmomma June 14, 2016, 6:14 am

    My favorite visor! I find it so tough when it gets really hot to feel normal after running, rehydration can be hard. I find I slow down a lot but trying to go a faster pace winds up feeling terrible in a bad way, not even in a “good sweat” kind of way.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Simple Paleo Blueberry Muffins {Grain Free, Dairy Free}My Profile

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe June 14, 2016, 6:49 am

    ISummer running turned me into a hat wearer. When I was just working out in the gym, it was all about the headband, but now? MUST HAVE HAT! I hopeyou link this up with running coaches corner tomorrow!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Facial Hair to Flooding to Running to Food Weekend RecapMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 14, 2016, 1:21 pm

      great idea! remind me in the morning if I forget, I am such a scatterbrain lately! better yet, I will write it down! lol

  • Gretchen June 14, 2016, 7:30 am

    Great tips! I started wearing a hat last year and it helps so much! Plus, it’s really useful in case there’s a surprise thunderstorm!
    Gretchen recently posted…Seawheeze Half Marathon Training Week 1My Profile

  • Lesq June 14, 2016, 7:39 am

    Just bec be careful not to drink to much water. I cut back, because I use to drink to much and two diff doctors told me I had flushed to much of the salt out of my body. Not the salt you eat. The natural internal salt level in your body. It was making me extremely fatigued. I didn’t know you could even do that and I was doing it for years. Have a great day!!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 14, 2016, 8:00 am

      yeah, too much of a good thing can be bad! sounds like hyponatremia – definitely have to be careful not to overdrink! I am definitely not, but I do remain conscious of it! my coffee to water ratio was getting a little out of hand 🙂
      The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Surviving Summer As A RunnerMy Profile

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes June 14, 2016, 8:29 am

    Great post with so many useful tips! Thanks so much for sharing my e-course! I need to look more into short sleeve shirts because it never quite gets warm enough for tanks here and I need the sun protection. Coconut water with fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt is my favorite electrolyte drink for summer – need both the hydration and the salt!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…How to Pick Your Fastest MarathonMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 14, 2016, 10:23 am

      I think you would love the run swiftly! I wear them year round, they are perfect for layering, wash well and I can usually get them on sale!

  • Ellie June 14, 2016, 9:25 am

    I’m really bad at doing any of this stuff. This post was really informative in telling me the risks for my thoughtless running behavior. Usually when the summer hits I just decrease the amount of clothing and wear sunglasses if I have to.
    Any tips for getting your visor to not blow off?
    Ellie recently posted…Rocky Road Banana Ice Cream and PHILOSOPHIE SUPERFOODS!My Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 14, 2016, 9:33 am

      I am so glad you found it helpful! I haven’t had an issue with my visor falling off so maybe the one you have isn’t the best for you personally, or, maybe try a headband underneath to take up space? Is it adjustable?

  • Sarah @pickyrunner June 14, 2016, 9:51 am

    I just bought another run swiftly short sleeve yesterday and thought of you. Lululemon addict… I have to be careful about my water consumption because I don’t like gatorade but I do love water and I end up drinking too much of it. I always add a lot of salt to my meals in the summer months to try and offset it a bit.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Bringing back the workout recapsMy Profile

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles June 14, 2016, 10:22 am

      it’s tricky to find the right balance of enough water and too much. right now, I am just trying to drink enough water that outweighs my coffee consumption lol. I love those run swiftly’s!

  • Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl June 14, 2016, 9:57 am

    I definitely need to make myself wear good supportive running shoes all day after my long run even when my feet are demanding flip flops. And the hydration balance is key as well. I’m doing Laura’s course now as part of my marathon training and it’s so helpful!
    Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…Weekly Workouts and Updates 6/6-6/13My Profile

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 14, 2016, 10:59 am

    So great! My body doesn’t love the heat so exercising outside in the summer can actually be really tricky. Proper hydration is probably the biggest thing I focus on, and the extra water means I’m making more of an effort to eat salt so that I’m not flushing myself out completely. If I’m ever feeling overly fatigued in the summer, 90% it ends up being a water or salt issue.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…double blueberry muffin barsMy Profile

  • Danielle June 14, 2016, 12:35 pm

    These are such awesome and detailed tips! I need to pick up one of those run swiftly shirts! I love drinking Nuun before, during, and/or after runs to stay hydrated.
    Danielle recently posted…My favourite running routes in VancouverMy Profile

  • Lauren June 14, 2016, 7:54 pm

    Great tips!
    Have you tried the Blueberry Pomegranate Nuun? It’s the ONLY flavor I enjoy. I make it the night before I run. Then about 30 minutes before I head out the door I stick my bottle in the freezer and it easily melts by the time I need it. It’s quite refreshing and took lots of trial and error to find a flavor that didn’t make me gag! LOL

  • Caroline M June 14, 2016, 9:29 pm

    These are all really awesome tips! I have a lot of running clothing from Athleta, and the majority of their clothing has UPF protection built into it which I greatly appreciate. Hydration is a big must for me too, I tend to feel more dehydrated in the summer, so I carry around a cute tumbler with me to encourage me to drink more water. I’ve found that water is way more appealing when I drink it with a straw. Random, but it works!

  • Kathleen June 19, 2016, 7:59 pm

    Opening this post, I expected to see “oh just wake up at 5 AM and beat the heat and you’ll be fine.” But these tips, from the sunscreen to the tank tops, hit topics I never even thought about. Really helpful, and I’ll be sure to fit them into my routine this summer.

  • Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete June 20, 2016, 6:14 am

    Good tips right here, especially about our feet! People often forget about how yucky our piggies can get over the summer, especially during the long run. My shoes do fit, my socks are freaking awesome, but blisters can happen on those long runs during the summer heat and humidity. I started putting Body Glide around my toes. My feet during fall marathon training = gorgeous.:) Have an awesome week!

  • Leo Tat May 21, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Here in the UK, the summer is short. We don’t get much sun, but when there is, I apply suncream only on my face. I wear short sleeves and allow sun exposure as a way to get some vitamin D. I only run for 20-25 minutes at a time, never got sunburnt. I also drink water mixed with electrolytes as I would be sweating more.
    Leo Tat recently posted…Best Vitamin C Supplements to TakeMy Profile

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