Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Have a Safe & Successful Hot Weather Run | Preparation is Key

Unless you live in a closet and never venture outside – you have noticed the temps rising….just a tad.

Living in Las Vegas, our summer months typically begin in late June.  However, in recent years (this included) our temps have reached the double digits in May.  

I first began running in the Summer time.  I had to figure out how to manage the heat with my training.  Here are some tips that you may find helpful to get through your summertime workout.

1.        Your pace/times will be slower.  The sooner you realize that, the less frustrated you will be.  When the sun comes out our brains tells our bodies to slow down.  No need to worry, it is only temporary.
2.       Decide if you want to train early in the AM, before sunrise or after dark.  Those may be your only options during the summer months.   This is why I bought a treadmill.  I was not excited about getting up at 3am every morning to do my marathon training plan or run until midnight every night.  On a treadmill, I can place a fan nearby and keep a lot cooler than running mid-day.
3.       DRY MOUTH:  is not cured by more water.  Suck on a piece of candy or dry mouth lozenges (found on  Be CAREFUL to not drink too much water that can cause you harm, just as not drinking enough.  Learn to pay attention to your body signals. 


1.       Carb & electrolyte up.  This is not just for race day.  Running long?  Follow your carb and electrolyte loading routine.  A Half Marathon is no different than your long run, correct?  Treat it the same
2.       Weigh yourself with your clothes on, before you leave. 
3.       Lay out your clothes and Garmin the night before. 
4.       Eat 20-30 minutes before you head out the door.  Keep it light
5.       Warm up your muscles before you get out the door.  Just because it’s warm, doesn’t mean your muscles are warmed up. 
6.       Bring your ID, debit card or cash with you.  You may need to stop and get a cool drink
7.       Run in areas that have parks, gas stations, store, fast food places, etc.  Any place that has SHADE, WATER and RESTROOMS.  All my summertime runs always include any of these stops within a half mile.  Yes, that may mean you change your routes. 
8.       I have been wearing a Kool-Tie around my neck on all my runs (including a treadmill). They do not keep you ice cold, but it does help to regulate your body temp.  Highly recommend.  I ordered mine through REI online.
9.       Slather Vaseline or your preferred lubricant (I often use Everstride) on your feet and in between your toes.  You will sweat and that will make your feet chaffed and possibly get blisters.
10.   Put Vaseline around the orbital bone around your eye.  This will keep the sweat out of your eyes.
11.   Make your protein drink before you walk out the door.  That way it is waiting for you, when you return and you don’t have to waste time to prep your drink. 


1.        Slowly drink a cool drink.  Preferably a protein and a sports drink.
2.       Weigh yourself.  If you lost more than 2 lbs on an HOUR run (1 lb = 30 min) you did not replace your fluids enough.  If you gained any weight, you drank too much.  Learn what your body needs.
3.       Wipe your face off with cool water
4.       EAT (or drink a protein drink) within 30 minutes after you return home.  You have a 30 minute window to replenish the nutrients you have lost during a run.  Also drink a sports drink. 
5.       Stretch out your muscles.  Yes, AFTER your workout. 
6.       Wear compressions socks
7.       ICE your joints or take an ice bath, even if you are not hurting.  This is a great preventive measure to offset inflammation
8.       Take a shower, clean up and enjoy the rest of your day/night!
9.       Be sure to ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.  If your urine is clear, stop – you have drank enough for a few hours.  If it is ice tea colored – DRINK – you are severely dehydrated.  If your urine is light, pale yellow (like lemonade) – then you are hydrated.  NOTE:  If you take any supplements that contain Vitamin C – your urine will be a BRIGHT YELLOW, that is normal and no cause for alarm. 

What tips do you have that helps you get through the hot runs?

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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  1. I take the Hammer electrolyte pills. Have you tried them?

    I need to stretch out after runs my legs are too sore after. - Janet

    1. Hi again, Janet. Good point! I forgot to mention about electrolyte capsules. I do use them. I take them before a run and if I am going to be running for more than an hour - I bring some along with me.

      Yes, warm up before a run and stretch afterwards.

      Thanks again for the comments on my blog!


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