A wise person once said, “Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going,” and they were absolutely right!
You have to win a few arguments with yourself in order to start running.
Once you are over that hurdle and are 100% into this thing called running, you will literally run into another obstacle at some point – the weather.
Running in the heat or cold is a battle on its own and if you want to win that battle too, you need to have the best running gear for summer or winter.
BEST ADVICE FOR RUNNING IN THE HEAT
1. DONT RUN BETWEEN 10am & 4pm
In cooler months you have the freedom to go running at almost any time of the day. During summer, however, that liberty quickly disappears and you have to adjust your schedule and run when the temperature is cooler.
To get the most out of summer running, you should avoid running during the hottest hours of the day, that is, between 10am and 4pm.
The best times to head out for a run in summer are in the early hours of the morning or late evening when the temperatures are much cooler and tolerable.
However, if you are training for a race that falls between 10 am and 4pm, then you may need to disregard this rule and train according to race times.
2. USE SWEATPROOF SUNSCREEN
In summer, your skin is more exposed to the sun than in other seasons hence you need a sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Chances are that you will be sweating up a storm when running in the heat, and so you need to use a sunscreen cream that will not easily run down along with the sweat, or one that does not rub off when you wipe off the sweat.
Great waterproof sunscreens include the Banana Boat Sports Performance lotion, Neutrogena Beach Defense, and for those with sensitive skin, the Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion is one of the best running gear for summer.
3. STAY HYDRATED
Staying hydrated all day even when you are not running is very important for anyone’s health. More so important is when you are engaged in vigorous exercise such as running in summer.
If your running route is equipped with waterholes along the way, then you can get away with not carrying your own water. But if there are no water fountains along the way and your run is 30 minutes or longer, then you have to bring along a hydration pack or water bottle.
An amazing way to carry a water bottle on a long run is by having something like this running belt which comes with two water bottles and a pocket that can fit a smartphone or any of your running essentials.
So How Much Water Should You Be Drinking In Summer?
I aim for at least three litres of water every day, every season but I will not say this is how much water you should also be drinking.
They are various factors that will determine how much water you need to drink daily. Usually, the colour of your urine will give you a more accurate indication as to how hydrated or dehydrated you are.
A pale yellow or clear urine colour is a good sign that you are well hydrated and this is what you should be shooting for.
4. STAY AWAY FROM COTTON FABRICS
Cotton absorbs but retains sweat and this is why runners avoid any running attire that is made from 100% cotton material. Rather, you buy clothes made from synthetic material because they wick away moisture and keep you dry.
BEST RUNNING GEAR FOR SUMMER – WOMEN
There are a few running gear that you have to have no matter what, when running in the heat.
1. Cap or Visor
The best cap or visor for running when it is hot and sunny is one that is lightweight, breathable, wicks away the moisture and importantly, one that will shield you from the sun.
When it comes to picking the best shorts for running, the best are the ones that will not cause your thighs to rub together. Chafing is not only irritating but can also be very painful.
To avoid chafing, shop for a pair of running shorts that has side splits for breathability, or sometimes built-in, tighter underwear which can prevent or reduce chafing.
If you already own shorts that cause chaffing or are just prone to chub rub, you can remedy the situation by applying good old petroleum jelly or Body Glide Anti-Chafe Balm to the area before exercise.
Whilst you may wish to ‘bless my cotton socks’ for this well thought out guide for the best running gear for summer, just don’t be tempted to head out and buy cotton socks for running while you are at it.
As in the point above, you should always avoid any workout clothes that are made from 100% cotton. Cotton socks don’t have the ability to wick away moisture and they will retain sweat and stay wet while you run and this may cause friction, and lead to blisters.
4. High Impact Sports Bra
Running is a high impact sport and so you will require nothing less than a high impact sports bra to provide you with firm support. Good sports bras for runners include Wacoal underwire sports bra and Victoria’s secret incredible sports bra.
5. Lightweight Tee
Whatever your style preference for running tops, you must remember to always go for breathable and quick drying fabrics that will keep you cool while running.
Good running shoes are a must and should always be the first on your list of the running gear. If you have no clue what the best running shoe is and what you should look for when buying running shoes, this guide on how to buy running shoes will answer a few questions for you.
Are you a seasoned runner? What is your best running gear for summer? Share your best tips for running in the heat in the comments below.
Susan Chanda is a professional content writer/journalist with over 20 years’ experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from University of South Africa and a diploma in Journalism and Public relations.
Susan has been writing evidence based fitness and health articles since 2016 for Fitness Chat, and is a certified fitness trainer, and diet and nutrition coach.
Fitness Chat is one of the several other websites that Susan owns, or co-owns with her children.
You can read more about Susan here.