August brings hotter and more humid weather across the United States, making it even more challenging to get a strong run in during the day. Running in the summer months means you may have to adjust your running schedule to beat the heat, as well as accepting the fact that no matter what time of day you run, your pace may be inevitably slower.
Armed with the right apparel and fitness accessories, you can ensure that you are ready to beat the heat -- no matter how hot the temperatures may be for you run.
"Running in hot, humid temperatures promotes sweating, which can lead to dehydration and heat cramps from mineral loss through sweating," said Isabell Delafontaine, product line director, lucy Activewear. "In addition, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are more likely to occur in the summer."
To beat the heat, here are eight summer running tips to beat the heat:
1. Wear the right gear.
Summer running gear is a bit different than what you would wear in the winter months, and it's not just a matter of thicker layers.
"It's important to look for UPF (sun protection in fabrics), synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics that prevent chafing, as well as breathable mesh," said Delafontaine.
Light-colored, loose-fitting clothes like the Fly by Tank from lucy help your body breathe and cool itself naturally.
2. Bring hydration... no matter the distance.
When it comes to a shorter run, some runners think they don't need to hydrate. After all, it's short and they'll be back in the comfort of their home with a cold glass of water in no time.
No matter how far you run in the summer months, make sure you are prepared with a bottle of water or electrolyte-infused drink like Nuun. Companies like Bottleband are creating products that make it easy for you to carry water without a high price tag.
3. Try to run early.
Running early in the morning is better than at the end of the day, as the air and ground are still cooling down from the peak heat of the day. Going for a run before a sunrise results in cooler air because you don't have to deal with the bright shining sun.
4. Give yourself a break.
Runners are naturally competitive, so letting yourself walk or slow down can be challenging, especially if you are training for a marathon.
Even so, it's better to air on the side of caution and give your body a chance to rest when you are facing a hot run. Walking gives your body a chance to cool down, which can help you go a longer distance when you are running in the heat.
5. Remember the sunscreen.
Even if you are running early in the morning or late in the day, you are still exposed to the sun's rays and have a chance of getting sunburn. Protect yourself from sunburn by wearing a sport sunscreen, like Coppertone Sport High Performance Continuous Spray. It will stay put, even as you sweat.
6. Watch the forecast.
During the summer months, weather can change at the snap of fingers. Make sure you are aware of any incoming storms or other weather patterns that may not be suitable to run in. Spending an extra 10 seconds looking at the forecast can keep you from running through a severe thunderstorm.
7. Make a plan.
With the weather in mind, make a plan of your runs for the week. Know how you will juggle the weather with your schedule, so you can set your own expectations.
In doing so, you can be prepared for what's ahead of you. It also gives you a better idea of how you can make changes if you have to skip a meeting because of work or if one of your kids gets sick.
8. Hit the treadmill.
On those days when it's simply to hot to run, hit the treadmill or find another way to get your sweat on. You may be asking -- what temperature is too hot? This is up to your body and what you can handle.
For some people, running in 70-degree temperatures is too much while others can handle temperatures in the 90s. It's up to you, but most importantly, listen to your body and know what makes you feel most comfortable. Your body will thank you.