10 Essential Tips for Running and Racing in the Summer Heat

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The warm weather is a great time to kick your running into high gear. But it can also be a challenge when the weather gets hot and humid. Although it may seem like you're slowing down, the heat can make you stronger if you run with it rather than try to beat it. 

Consider these hot running tips to keep your cool and optimize your performance this summer.


It takes about two weeks for your body to acclimate to running more efficiently in the warmer weather, and even then it can still be a challenge. Invest the first two weeks of the warm-weather season to running at an easy effort to allow your body time to acclimate and cool itself more easily. Although you'll need to slow down, you'll get in a higher quality workout without taxing your body due to the greater demands of running in the heat. You'll also recover more efficiently so you can keep the momentum flowing through the season.

More: How to Transition to Running in Hot Weather

Run by Effort Rather Than Pace 

Avoid the frustration of running by pace, and train to the tune of your body—called effort-based training. Whether with heart-rate training or by your perceived effort (how you feel), effort-based training will allow you to train in the optimal zone on the given day, and avoid overexertion and delayed recovery.

That tempo run may be a 30 to 45 seconds per mile slower in the heat of the summer, but the purpose of the workout isn't to hit a magic pace. The purpose is to train at your threshold effort and train to raise it throughout the season. The body doesn't know pace. It knows effort. And when you ebb and flow with what the day gives you, your training and performance will continue to progress one workout at a time. Your progress may not show via your pace, but it will once the weather breaks, and you race in cooler temperatures.

More: A Lesson in Feel-Good Training