Summer running…had me a blast! Just kidding. It was horrible.


The closest thing to accurate about that gif is the head wiping. This weekend was BRUTAL in Charm City. 90+ degrees with heat indexes over 100. I knew it would be and yet I still decided I was going to go for my first longer outside run in awhile on Saturday morning.

The plan was to go 9 miles; I had it mapped out and everything. Let me just tell you that it took all of about 2 miles for me to realize that there would be no 9 miles. Even at 8am the humidity was out of control and sweat was literally dripping off my clothes.


Hahaha. Yes.

So 8 miles. I could do 8 miles. I knew exactly where on the route I could cut corners to knock off that extra mile.

I got to 4 when it then it became a matter of getting to the closest convenience store because I was already SO DEHYDRATED. It was there that I shut down my watch, got some water from a kind lady who look petrified that I might just drop dead right there at the counter, and took a nice long break. I only made it 5 miles into my run and it was the smart thing to do. As soon as the gloriously cold water went down my throat it popped right back out on my skin. It was the coldest sweat I ever remember having in my life.

After about 10 minutes of milling around the parking lot of the store and probably looking extra creepy, I decided to be on my way. I was still a little more than 3 miles from my house if I finished out the route that I had planned and I managed to make it all the way back fairly easily thanks to the water break. That run though?

Overall not cool.

So I know this has been a topic that has been done to death already, but just a few things to remember about running in the heat. Especially now that many of us are into the most terrible heat of the summer, ie: that which drove me inside to the treadmill yesterday because I was not about to have a repeat of Saturday:

1) Give yourself time to get acclimated.

Which is something I did not do. I am a self-proclaimed treadmill lover and have been spending a lot of time running in the nice, temperature controlled gym this summer. I should have worked up to that 8 mile a lot more steadily than I did.

2) Hydrate, YOU FOOL!

And by “you fool” I mean me, although it is important for all of us to remember that in the hottest of the hot days  of the summer we should  be upping our water consumption. Even if we think we might not need water on our run…we might need water on our run. And again by “we” I mean “me”. I should never have left that water bottle sitting on the counter.

3) Take it Easy.


Here’s a handy chart. I loved this chart for winter and was pleased to see that they have one for summer too. Let’s just say that according to my watch I was not paying one bit of attention to any of this on Saturday morning.


It’s like I had somewhere to be or something, which in reality I did not. I probably would have been able to complete 9 miles—or even not split up my 8—had I dialed back my pace.

And of course I don’t think any of us really need this particular reminder, but wear as little clothing as you can comfortably (or legally) go out in public in.

All this stuff is basic knowledge, but just like with pretty much everything else in my life I need to learn to take my own good advice. I’m hoping that by writing these out it will help keep me accountable for next time. 🙂

How are you dealing with running in the summer heat? Any additional tips to share?

I hope everyone had a great weekend and STAY COOL out there! It’s going to be another hot one today!




37 thoughts on “Summer running…had me a blast! Just kidding. It was horrible.

  1. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    The heat and humidity are killing my runs this summer too! It took me the last few weeks of my training to realise running in the H & H is so hard on your body – even though really, I mentally already new that. Love the chart – very helpful!
    I try to hydrate well before any run, even the day before. Also, I’m trying to get my runs in before 7am on the days my husband is home or late at night on the treadmill where I can run with a fan in my face 😉

  2. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    I really felt the humidity on Sunday. I ran on the NCR trail so luckily it was shaded but I was still totally drenched in sweat. I brought my camelback which was a lifesaver. I definitely think this summer has been tough because the weather has been all over the place!

  3. Mar on the Run! says:

    yep, treadmill 😉 I will run in heat and humidity to a certain point. I know my pace will be at least 1-2 minutes slower so don’t put pressure on myself. I always arry some water or electrolytes while running – even if low key mils. Luckily I was away this weekend so got to run in non-DC area weather for a change!

  4. Run Colby Run says:

    I had a total Come To Jesus moment on Sunday during my 12 mile run THAT NEARLY KILLED ME. Why on earth am I doing this? And I brought water. I’m taking it inside today. It’s 92 degrees with an obscene heat index and humidity and it’s only 10am. So yucky. Thank you for the reminder—-and that infographic! That’s a good one! Stay cool, Friend! xoxo

  5. klregan says:

    This summer is killing me! With temps above 100, I am just running SO SLOW. I’ve been feeling like my confidence about running Chicago is waining, but I think your chart helped set me straight. Stay safe out there in the heat and drink lots of water!

  6. Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles says:

    Been feeling the same way on my morning runs, it was 82 degrees at 6 am today, totally NOT COOL! I’ve been trying to hydrate as much as possible and stop and take breaks when I need to. It’s not ideal but I just keep reminding myself that at least I am able to go out and run and that I need to be smart. Try and stay cool my friend!! xo

  7. Jamie says:

    I love that chart. It is so frustrating getting used to the humidity, but it truly just does take time. Before I know it I’m going to be complaining about the cold so I just better try to enjoy the shorts and tank top weather while it lasts : )

  8. Chaitali says:

    Yeah, I’ve really been having a hard time with the heat, and this weekend sucked 😦 I did a twilight 8k Saturday evening and it still felt tough even though the sun had gone down. It really slowed my pace and I think I just have to accept the slower times in the summer. My time feels about right given your chart, but it’s a bit deflating to see that on your watch at the end of the race.

  9. ChasingOliviaCrew says:

    I so agree with this and have been trying to start my runs earlier. On Saturday got going at 5:30am and it helped a lot (plus the sun wasn’t fully out yet, which makes a big difference). I do not have central air in my apartment so it gets sweltering at home. Thankfully we have a window unit in the bedroom so nights are bearable. I’m just super thankful for fans blowing on me throughout the daytime!!

  10. ambertherunner says:

    Omg this weekend was insane. I felt a shade better than death 30 minutes after my run on Saturday. I didn’t even venture outside yesterday either 0_0
    Kudos to you for getting it done, even if you had to cut it a mile short & take a break too. I ended up cutting out the last mile of my workout & extending my cool down because it was just TOO HOT. Exactly why I’ll be pulling a page from your book today & hitting the treadmill for my tempo 🙂

  11. Elizabeth says:

    This weather this weekend was brutal! I think we’ve been so spoiled with a mild summer so far that we forgot how hot it can get! I’m with you on having to remember to hydrate, that’s something I always forget to do and I always end up paying for it later!

  12. charissarunning says:

    Haha my post was just about how awful the heat and humidity has been too. I’m with you on sticking to that treadmill. Even in the early morning it’s 75 degrees and 90% humidity and I cannot take it. I feel like I’ll never adjust so I’d rather just get some good workouts in without those terrible outdoor conditions!

  13. SuzLyfe says:

    Acclimation is critical. It takes teh body about 2 weeks to adjust to major changes in temps–but getting out in the heat and exercising will help the process along–trust, me, I witnessed it in Jamaica!

  14. Alanna says:

    I’m the worst at taking my own advice too. This humidity has been no joke! I think I just need to learn to suck it up and run on the treadmill when it’s either brutally hot or cold. There is no point in making myself suffer needlessly. I still think I prefer this humidity over the ice and show though. 🙂

  15. ilkasblog says:

    I had a few of these kind of runs lately. It gets really freaky when you can’t find a water station or convenient store to get something to drink. I was always used to running in NYC,basically there is a vendor on every corner. Here in Florida – good luck. Sometimes you have to run far to make it to the next store. I personally don’t like running with a belt, but I will have to reconsider that.

  16. Rebecca Royy says:

    Ditto on everything everyone has said about the heat!!! I have been finishing before 7am too to try to beat it. But sometimes I ‘cheat’ and finish inside on the treadmill or elliptical.
    i have just started a blog about running and travel. I hope you will visit sometime if you get a chance. I’ve got a new post today about running with music.

  17. DarlinRae says:

    Ugh it was gross hot and humid here this weekend as well. I was an absolute slug during rehearsal yesterday afternoon, and when it was time for bed I cranked the AC and just laid on top of the covers groaning. Ben was like, “Are you ok?” Yuck.

  18. Running 'N' Reading says:

    Um, yes…to all of this. It is so hot. I did nine miles on Saturday but I started at 5:45 am and I’ve also been running outside all year…and it was still tough – ha! I made the mistake of trying to push the pace too much over the past couple of weeks and it’s been humbling; my “easy” runs weren’t so easy and I’ve finally started telling myself that it’s OKAY to forget about that stupid Garmin and take it easy! GAH! I’m so glad you were okay; that’s a scary situation, L. Great reminders!

  19. Sweaty Mess says:

    Carry some water with you lady! I had water with me on Sunday, embraced the “easy” pace, and ran on the shady NCR. I didn’t think it was all that bad…considering it’s the middle of July. I also only fill my water bottle about halfway and freeze it overnight. Then I top it off the next morning. The water stays cold for most of the run.

  20. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    I totally cut my long run short a few weeks ago. Lived here my whole life and still not used to it! I felt the runner’s guilt at first, but then I realized it was the smart thing to do. It would become a problem if it happened all the time, but we need to give ourselves some slack sometimes.The last thing I want to do is kill myself in the summer and not be able to enjoy the fall because I was stupid haha:) Great reminders about the heat!

  21. Court says:

    My body is not acclimating to the heat well. I almost blacked out after a run one morning. I’ve been checking the temperature every morning and if its just too hot I’ll skip my run and do a workout in the comfort of my AC!

  22. Marie (from 2Generations Running) says:

    Did my first 12 mile training run on Sunday and it was 75 degrees here at 7 AM and crazy humid! Had lots of water and took it slow, but I think it also helps to fuel on those longer runs, even though the heat makes you feel so gross that the last thing you want is to eat something sweet. Still, I think it does help because after I ate a goo at mile 8.5 I definitely felt better and got through the rest of the run ok. But it’s definitely a challenge!

  23. Sam @ See Sam Run says:

    I cut my run on Sunday short because of the heat too. As much as I love MD, I don’t do well with heat at all. Thankfully I have a gym I can go to when it’s really bad. I don’t mind that it slows me down, but the sun and humidity take everything out of me.

  24. Jenna Michael says:

    Oh Salt that’s the worst! I hate that feeling of knowing you are miles from home and have to make it back somehow so there’s no other option except to keep going. I hope you have fully recovered!

  25. Sun says:

    Glad you were able to make it through the miles okay! It seems like every year hot summer weather sneaks up on me so your tips are great to keep in mind when running in the heat. Wisconsin summers tend to go from 60 degrees to 80+ degrees in a matter of days!

    I ran the Chicago Rock n Roll 10k on Sunday and it was nearly 80 degrees with 85 percent humidity. So brutal!

  26. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I haven’t done one training run for MCM outside yet. Not because of choice but because of the kids, but I’m not so sure I’m complaining!!

  27. pippalouisecalvin says:

    I had the opposite problem- for my 10k race on Sunday I didn’t check the weather and went in short shorts and plastered in sunscreen. It started pouring it down just before kick-off, and I was left with sunscreen dripping down my face!

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