Staying cool on a summer run can sometimes be as tough as pretending to be cool in high school. Here are four ways to keep your personal Mercury from rising on the run:
Get up and go. If you can’t run before the sun rises, at least you can get in your miles before the mercury climbs too high. If you’re heading out on a long training run, an early, early morning alarm isn’t optional. (Sorry.)
Plan your route wisely. July is not the time to run wide, open roads: Let shade be your BFF. If you’re aiming to get in four miles, consider running back-and-forth on the same shaded 1-mile stretch road—what you trade in excitement, you’ll more than make up for in comfort. Hill repeats? Choose the incline with branches hanging overhead. Bonus points if you can head somewhere a breeze will be blowing.
Take it on ice. Freeze a bottle of Nuun-laced water or sports drink—leaving about an inch at the top of the bottle for expansion—and either tote it on your run or stash it somewhere on your route ahead of time. It’ll melt on your run, ready for drinking when you need it. Also, in a pinch: Stop at a convenience store for some cubes from the drink dispenser to stash under your hat or in your sports bra. As long as you don’t try to boost a Slurpee, the 7-Eleven dude should be cool you with taking a few ice cubes.
Head indoors—or onto your bike. The A/C at the gym makes the treadmill more palatable; mix things up by touching a button—either incline or speed—every quarter-mile. Or put your mettle to the pedal and ride outside. Not a cruising-to-get-coffee-ride, but a ride that mimics intensity of a run: your heart is pumping, you can hear your breathe, your quads are talking to you. Not only will your joints enjoy the break, but also you’ll create a welcome breeze.