by Megan Vigue, assistant manager – Marathon Sports Boston
While I promised myself I wouldn’t complain about the heat after this winter, I’ve definitely been struggling through most of my runs this week. The humidity combined with temperatures in the 80’s have really made it feel like summer in Boston, and for most runners that makes for a string of sluggish runs. We still have a few more months of warm weather, so here are some tips for surviving the heat this summer.
Almost every runner knows the importance of staying hydrated. This is especially true in the summer when you are sweating significantly more during a run and throughout the day. However, plain water usually doesn’t cut it. When you sweat, your body also loses electrolytes. If you hydrate with just water, you miss out on replacing those valuable electrolytes. I personally love NUUN ($6.99 per tube), which is a sugar-free electrolyte tablet that you dissolve in any water bottle. Each 8-calorie tablet is packed with four key electrolytes lost during exercise: sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Its light flavor and slight carbonation make it a great drink to sip on throughout the day.
Wearing the right clothing is key to making hot, humid runs more bearable. Avoid cotton, which holds moisture against the skin. Let’s all say this together: AVOID COTTON. A synthetic option will wick the sweat off your body, keeping you dryer and cooler. One of my favorite summer shirts is the Nike DRI-FIT Cool Strappy Tank ($35.00, assorted colors). It has become my go-to for humid runs due to its ultralight and breathable material; it really feels like you have nothing on. The cute, feminine straps and vibrant colors don’t hurt either.
Avoid blisters by choosing synthetic running socks. Balega’s Hidden Dry Sock ($11.00 per pair) is one of the lightest, most breathable options I’ve worn. Last summer, I finished a 20-mile run completely blister-free thanks to how lightweight those socks are.
One of the best things about summer running is chafing (not). Most runners know how painful chafing can be, and it unfortunately happens more frequently in the summer when there is more moisture and friction. Those raw, red patches can be easily avoided by using Body Glide (ranging from $5.99 – $14.99) before heading out for a run. Body Glide acts as a barrier to the effects of rubbing, which makes it ideal for use under a sports bra band, on the inner thigh, and under the upper arm. Body Glide is non-greasy and sweatproof, plus its deodorant stick design makes application clean and easy. As a bonus, its also paraben-free and vegan approved.
In addition to being smart by running early or late in the day, using these tips can help make running in the heat more enjoyable. The summer is actually my favorite time of year to run! Have some fun with it: run through fountains, end at a pool, and reward yourself with some ice cream. Come to the Marathon Sports run clubs for some great motivation and post-run popsicles.
All the products mentioned (and more!) are available at all Marathon Sports store locations. [CLICK TO FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU]