How to stay cool, protected, and safe during hot weather runs.

Warm weather running is here, and for those who want to keep up their mileage throughout summer, you are bound to experience some uncomfortable temperatures. With temps rising, there are a few precautions you can take to increase your enjoyment level and stay cool.

First and foremost, while these tips will help set you up for success, always allow yourself grace that it is ok to skip a run, if the temperatures are just too darn hot. There will be cooler days ahead! 

Tip 1: Plan your route and start time

The decision on where you decide to run and time of day will directly impact the level of enjoyment you will have out in the sun! 

Check your route and weather the day before and plan accordingly. Depending on where you live starting an hour earlier could easily knock the temperature down 10 degrees. A general rule of thumb is to avoid the hours of 10AM – 4 PM when the sun’s rays are at their harshest. And apart from the significant impact of a lower temperature, starting earlier could also allow you to avoid some crowds and unnecessary weaving in and out of people. Which is also, a nice perk.

While trails will tend to be cooler, than the hot pavement, those too can get steamy. So, if you know you will be running at a particularly hot time of day, do some research on more shady terrain and flat to conserve your energy and keep your heart rate lowered.  

Tip 2: Hydration

This is probably one of the most asked questions, and one of the most critical aspects of running in the heat. How much water should you be drinking when running in the heat?

The running experts say, to drink water consistently before, during and after any type of run especially if you are planning to head out into the heat. Before is to prepare the body, during is to replenish lost fluids and after is to replenish and repair the body with water and additional supplements.

First, don’t get behind in fluids to begin with. The American College of Sports and Medicine recommends drinking approximately 1 oz per every 10lbs of body weight 4 hours before a run. And if you are expected to lose a lot of sweat plan on drinking and an additional 0.6 oz per every 10lbs of weight 2 hours before a run. As we know those times don’t always work, with when you are heading out the door, so at a bare minimum start hydrating 30 mins before.

While on the run, whether in training or during a race, runners should start drinking early and consume 4-8 ounces of fluid every 15 – 20 minutes. For some this could be too much, so also listen to your body, drink when you’re thirsty and your mouth is dry.

There are also a number of electrolyte style mixes to be added to water that can help with keeping you feeling your best and clear headed. Check with your local running store for their expert advice on what could work best for you. 

Pro Tip: Invest in a comfortable running vest! This gives you no excuse to say you don’t have room for water. Many styles easily accommodate a couple of bladders that can be filled with water and electrolyte hydration. This is a must have for anyone deciding to run in the heat! Don’t be the person that didn’t leave home without enough water.  

Tip 3: What to wear

The best type of running apparel are the pieces you never think about on a run. For warm weather running there are a few must-have attributes when looking for that perfect running top and short. First and foremost, you want something that is lightweight and breathable, and not too tight, you want the air to breeze right through.

Also, it is highly important to look for UPF options. Most running brands have UPF options now a days, and all of the Outdoor Research running styles have some level of UPF ranging from UPF 15 – 50.

Be mindful to also opt for lighter colors that won’t retain the heat as much as darker colors would, however, making those lighter color choices could impact the UPF rating, so read those labels!


Some of our favorite running styles that check all of the boxes of lightweight, breathable, comfortable and UPF equipped: 

Trail Running Collection
Designed for Those Looking To Be Light and Fast on the Trail

Lightweight, Breathable, UPF 30 

Echo Collection
Lightweight, Breathable, Best Sellers, UPF 15 – 30, Plus Size and Extended Sizes offered 

Lightweight, Breathable, UPF 30 

A woman pulls her hair through the hood of the Echo Hoodie in lavendar watercolorA woman pulls her hair through the hood of the Echo Hoodie in lavendar watercolor

Astro Collection
Durable, Comfortable, Wear Running and Hiking, UPF 50+ 

Lightweight, Breathable, UPF 30 

A woman wears the Astro Shorts in a mountain sceneA woman wears the Astro Shorts in a mountain scene
A man runs along a grassy trail with a view of the town belowA man runs along a grassy trail with a view of the town below

Tip 4: Take care of your furry friends

What run isn’t better than when it is shared with your favorite four-legged friend. However, they can experience the same amount of heat distress that you could encounter. So, with a few extra steps of precaution you can keep them safe as well. 

○  Check the temperature beforehand –  pavement and even dirt paths can get hot. If the ground is so hot you wouldn’t walk around barefoot, that is a good rule of thumb that the ground is too hot for your pup as well. Those paws can and will get burned.  

○  Understand your dog's limitations – they will go beyond what is safe, just to hang with you. Be their number one advocate and know when you should turn around, or simply leave them at home if you know the miles will be too much.

○  Bring extra water and stash a collapsible water bowl in your running vest for easy access. 

○  Know the signs of heat exhaustion and make frequent stops in the shade and water breaks.  

○  Lots of treats! 

Tip 5: Know the signs of heat exhaustion

Of course, this is a point which nobody wants to get to, but it is important to know the signs of heat exhaustion.  

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), here are the most common symptoms,  

○  Heavy sweating

○  Cold, pale, clammy skin 

○  Fast, weak pulse 

○  Nausea or vomiting 

○  Fatigue, dizziness, fainting 

Once you or your running partner starts to experience any of these symptoms, take a break, find some shade, hydrate and cool down as best you can. If the symptoms worsen or last for over an hour, the CDC does recommend calling emergency services.  

Tip 6: Run with a friend

Finally, with all the precautions taken ahead of time, stuff can still happen, which is why it is always a good idea to run with someone else as well as letting a family member or friend know of your expected route, time you are leaving and expected home.

With these warm weather running tips, we wish you efficient climbs, fast descendants, and a cool breeze to get you through your summer runs. 

See you out there! 

A man and woman run along a grassy trail with the sun setting behind themA man and woman run along a grassy trail with the sun setting behind them
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