Gingers were not made for hot weather

I tend to complain about the heat every year, but seriously. Why is it already in the 80s? Back in my day, we used to have Spring. Now, it seems as though we go from Winter to Summer within a week's time. I think I need to move to an area which does have 50-70 degree weather all year around because I am very heat-intolerant. It's a ginger thing...

But I think having humidity on top of the heat is the ultimate culprit. On Monday, I went on my first 80 degree run this year and about died. I had to stop at mile 3, catch my breath and push through the remaining 2 miles gasping for air. 

Yet, there are ways to survive the heat waves. I have been running through it for 3 years now. How I have  lived, I am not entirely certain, maybe it was these tips below that pushed me through the discomfort...

  1. Wear as little as possible. I tend to lose the shirt and run in shorts and my sports bra. I'm not trying to show off skin, I am strictly running for comfort. For those that would prefer not to run shirtless, there are plenty of light-weight, breathable shirts. I love this one from Under Armour.
  2. Drink plenty before, during, and after your run. Hydration can make a huge difference to a hot weather run. I would recommend a drink with electrolytes to replenish what you are sweating out. Try sipping every at least every 20 minutes on your run.
  3. Run slow. Your heart rate is increased when the temps are elevated. Runner's World says that after 60 degrees, for every 5 degrees, your pace can slow by 20-30 seconds per mile! So just because the watch says your slower than usual, doesn't mean your not getting an awesome workout! Listen to your body, not your watch.
  4. Run early or late in the day. Doing this would allow you to avoid getting hit with the highest temperatures of the day. If you can manage, try even running at night.
  5. Find shaded areas and avoid roads. The roads soak in the sun and you will feel that heat on your feet. Try trail running or find a shady area to get your miles in. I like to hit up the C&O Canal to stay out of the sun. 
Also, remember that it takes 14 days to acclimate yourself to the new temps. Although it may seem grueling for the first few times you run in the heat of the year, it will get easier!

Don't forget to acknowledge dew points instead of the temps. Here's a good chart to reference to see how your run could be effected depending on the due point.

And let me know if you have your own ways of battling the heat! I would love any additional tips to survive the next few months! :o)

By the way, I am selling the "Gingers earn a freckle for every mile they run" shirt! So for those proud ginger runners out there who want their own, you can get them here (men's wear coming soon)!!!

How do you survive the summer months? Especially in those high humidity zones?

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