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Tips and Tactics for Summer Running

Tips and Tactics for Summer Running

The heat and humidity can be very challenging for runners, especially on longer runs and on race day! We sat down with our PATH projects KREW for several summer running strategies:

Tylor Bates: Let your pride go.. don't focus on pace. Instead focus on effort. Too often we get caught in the social media tornado and try to post a specific pace rather than focused on HR and or over all effort.

Toby Silver: Fill and freeze your hydration bladder the night before. It keeps my body temperature cooler and my liquids cold for a longer time. It is important not to fill the bladder all the way as liquids expand when frozen. I remove from the freezer 60-90 min before the run so that any sharp edges of ice that may have formed soften up. I done this with Nathan packs for years and have never had a puncture or tear. It feels so good to have that coolness on my back! For other manufacturers I would suggest checking with the company about the integrity of the bladder.

Wes Plate: Keep the sun off my skin is my primary goal. Hat with neck drape, arm sleeves, gloves, all in service of sun protection. Cooling the body using ice comes next. Ice in a bandana around the neck helps a lot! Ice in the hat also helps cool me down.

Jeff Miller: use lots of ice! Arm sleeves and bandanas with ice in them, ice in your hat and in the back of your shorts!


John Goldfield: Pre hydration. Humidity is a huge challenge in the heat here in North Carolina. Pre-hydration with an electrolyte drink helps, and just having to remind myself to constantly take sips from what I’m carrying. It doesn’t hurt to have an outdoor shower with a nice cold garden hose water for 20 minutes or so after a run ha ha. The collaboration with precision hydration has worked out well for me. I have found that their stuff works pretty well to keep me right. Even better, the low sweetness component keeps me from getting too much taste fatigue in Long efforts like the Zion 100 recently.

Greg Sisengrath: If you are in dry heat, keep your shirt and arms wet. Cover up your face, neck and arms. If you have access to ice, throw it in your hat, bandana and arm sleeves.

Floris Gierman: It takes your body time to adjust, so ease into hot weather running. I have wrecked myself in training doing too much hot weather running too soon. Many athletes around me have made similar mistakes. If you know you might be racing in hot weather, start out training with 15 to 30 minutes of running (or hiking) in higher temperatures. This allows your sweat glands will develop gradually and your body AND mind can ease into it. If you start running right away for several hours on hot days, your recovery will take much longer. Consistency and gradual progress over time sets you up for long term success, with lower chances of overtraining and injuries.

Kevin Sherman: Slow down your running pace. It gets warm here in Austin, TX. I count on my MAF running pace to increase by 1-1:30 min in the heat of summer. I do typically run based on RPE but knowing this is the case helps me pre-wire mentally.

Mike Sveum: Keep covered up, when it’s hot during the day. Arm sleeves with ice and a bandana around your neck with ice are so helpful.

Andy Averill: Embrace the heat with sauna training. 6 weeks out from my recent Kettle 100 race day I started visiting the sauna 3-4x a week to get adjusted to potential hot race conditions. It helped, I got very comfortable being uncomfortable on hot humid days in the week leading up to the race. On race day, I knew I couldn't just rely on hydration to cool off, I relied heavily on my PATH bandana all day and did exactly what the Youtube video described. I had literally never used an ice bandana before, it was a life saver!

Victor Chen: run with a UV hat drape. A UV hat drape is an amazingly effective piece of apparel that works well with something like a ZION Cap. What's nice about it is that it keeps the sun off the back of your neck and the sides of your face. Also, when damp from sweat or water, it provides a cooling effect. UV arm sleeves also work well!

Albert Shank: Forget about pace and your ego. I live in Phoenix Arizona. It is hot from May to October. June, July and August are the worst because the monsoon humidity goes with the heat. During those months it is hot 24/7. The trick is hydrating a lot more, go a lot slower, and keep the heart rate lower.

Sean Lee: Heat training in the sun or sauna. Get out there in the sun when it's hot and get used to the heat or use Dry Sauna after the run while your HR is still high. I remember keeping my windows up and A/C off after a summer afternoon run so I would get used to the high temp while I drove home. Maybe that's why I didn't feel any heat during my AC100 race.

Gunnar Barrera: Keep an eye on when you are pushing too hard. Don't focus on your pace and understand you will be going a little slower. Try to focus on your heart rate because that's a good gauge for letting you know when you're pushing too hard. Once it starts to jump higher then usual it's best to slow it down a bit before overheating and/or redlining too bad.

Jeason Murphy: I usually run in the hottest part of the day in training. I don’t cover up and don’t wear sunscreen unless I’ll be out for several hours. I also don’t drink a lot of water but I do carry water even on short runs of an hour or less. I drink some and squirt some on my neck and head. I almost always fully submerge in the river for a minute or so at the end of my runs. In races I will wear a tank top and buff and try to keep them wet and will lay down in creeks if the opportunity presents itself. I guess I just try to train my body to get used to the heat and try not to get hot and stay hydrated on race day. Seems to work for me.

Victor Chen: Keep an eye on heart rate during the heat especially if you're prone to dehydration. Your heart will have to pump harder/faster as the blood volume decreases. It can be a good indicator if you need to stop or slow to a walk until your body absorbs any liquids you've ingested and until your HR comes down. (I learned this the hard way after being stubborn during a hot 50K and putting myself in the hospital).

Albert Shank: Keep wet in a dry climate. When it’s a dry heat here in Phoenix, keeping your head and torso wet is extremely helpful. When it’s humid, it just adds to the misery lol.

Gunnar Barrera: Combine a hat and bandana. I'm a big time hat guy too! During the hotter weather I choose the lighter color ways (The Zion cap has been my go to lately). I always wear my Pinyon bandana around my neck. Once it gets hotter or the sun is at my back I throw in on my head with my hat to keep it secure. Perfect to cover up my neck and ears. Also love to drench it in water when I get a chance especially if there's access to water on the route wether it's a water station or a creek/river crossing.

Summer Running Gear List

Sykes AT shorts Wildcat AT shorts
Backbone PX shorts Tahoe CL liner
Torch liner
Pyrenees hooded shirt

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