Be Smart… Run Smart

In honor of the summer heat, I wanted to relay a few tips to y’all about how to be smart and run smart in extreme temperatures. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll run in pretty much anything.

Sub freezing temperatures?

Bring it. in cold weather, in my eyes, is easier to beat than running in hot weather. Why? Because you can layer. Yes, the nippy temperatures might be uncomfortable at first, but trust me, you’ll be nice and warmed up within 5 minutes. What’s more is the fact that stores now carry super-cute thermal-wear to help keep ya warm throughout the duration of winter runs. Oh, and there’s also hand-warmers if things get desperate.


Temperature regulation = one glove on, one glove off. I swear by this.

Snow and ice on the ground? Not a problem. They make spikes for that. (Really, they do).

Don't mess with a hardcore runner. They're probably equipped with spikes. And spikes to the face hurt.

You non-runners out there must think runners are craaazy for wanting to run when it’s not a comfortable temperature outside. And I am not denying that fact one little bit. I like to run year-round. Outside.

To me, running indoors on a treadmill is boring. I feel like a hamster going around, around and arouuuund on one of those spin wheels.

Yep. Just like this.

Plus, feeling trapped really ain’t my thing. If I’m at the gym, I’m either lifting weights or crosstraining with a bodypump-class or spin-class. I just can’t make myself run inside. I’ll take the freedom of an outside run any day. And yes, that means even on garbage-truck days. (Anyone else out there play the racing game against the garbage trucks? Just me? Awesome.)

Don't you *dare* stank up the air I be breathin'

Running during the summer time is a little different. You can’t exactly take layers off when, you know, you’re *already* wearing the bear minimum.

So with that said, here are some tips from the Wellness Coalition of America on how to be smart while you log those miles outside during the wretched, summer heat.

“As you exercise, your body generates heat that must be released into the environment.  So exercising in high temperatures can have dangerous results, such as dehydration or heat illness.  If you have a chronic disease such as heart disease or asthma and your heart and/or lungs are already working harder, proceed with even more caution when exercising in the heat and humidity.

If the temperature and humidity add up to 150 or higher, use caution when exercising outside during the day.  (For example, if the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is 70%, the sum of the two equals 150, therefore you should postpone your outdoor activities until it is cooler.)”

Here are a few tips to alleviate the effects of the heat:

  • Wear clothing that allows for heat loss and sweat evaporation (made with dry-fit material).
  • Reschedule exercise for a cooler time of day (mornings or evenings; avoid exercise between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the sun is at its highest intensity).
  • Relocate exercise to a shady, breezy site or indoors where there’s air conditioning.
  • Reduce exercise intensity, and add rest and water breaks.

                                                        -The Wellness Coalition of America

If you want to hear more tips about running and how much I value stretching and listening to your body… check out my interview on Bobby Demuro’s Radio Exiles show! The link I provided in a previous post was broken (but it has now been corrected) so I thought I’d provide y’all the link again in case you actually were interested in listening to me babble on about my love for running…

Moving right along.

Lucky for me, the weather this week in Charlotte has been pretty amazing. In fact, I’d call it balmy. (And when I say “balmy,” I mean mid 80s with low humidity– it’s all relative, people!). Usually, Charlotte is a high of 95, with a heat index over 100 and a humidity of sick-nasty high. So this balmy weather has been a nice little break from the Southern summer heat.

You know what also makes me a super Happy girl today?


Oh hellllllll yes.

Today Ryan and I are going saaaailing!  His good buddy Jon (slash old roomie, slash coworker) volunteers for a sailing club on Lake Norman, and he offered to take me and Ryan out on the lake. Talk about awesome. I melt for boats. All kinds of boats – speed boats, canoes, pontoon boats, kayaks, cruiseships (ohhh I ❤ cruising, hinthint cough.hacking.smokers.cough.cough.) I think you get the idea.

So, today should be pretty epic. Especially since the last time I went sailing I was probably about 3 or 4 years old.



Actually, I was three and a half. I know this because my mom reminds me of this trip quite often. We were visiting my Aunt and Uncle who lived on the Chesapeake Bay at the time, and we all piled onto my Uncles sailboat and went sailing for the day. We were having a grand ‘ole time chatting away and catching up (well, the adults were… I was the lone 4 year old on the boat, waddling around the deck like a drunken sailor trying to keep my balance) and enjoying the lovely sunshine…that is, until I threw my beloved windup-toy-bear over the side of the boat.

Shoulda gone with the Sailor Bear…

I remember watching it arc through the air and slide into the water… and use it’s arms to swim the backstroke. “Wooo, look at bear go!” I probably thought to my 3.5 year old self. And then I realized Mr. Bear was going in the wrong direction. I guess I thought nothing bad could come from throwing him into the water, because after all, he was a wind-up swimming bear, he belonged in the water… duh. I’m sure that’s the reasoning I told my mother as I cried and pointed to Mr. Bear back-paddling away from the sailboat.  Let’s just say I had my first geography (oceanography? who the hell knows…) lesson at a pretty young age. I learned that the Chesapeake Bay is not the size of my bathtub, and things thrown into said body of water will not find their way back into my little hands, even if they are the best little wind-up-toy-swimming bear out there.

Hopefully today’s little sailing excursion will go better than the last time…Smile with tongue out

What are some ways you beat the summer heat for exercise? Have you ever heard the rule of 150? Do you run with a hydration belt? Have you ever been sailing?  Have you ever lost something at sea that meant a lot to you?



Filed under marathon, public health, running, safety, training

11 responses to “Be Smart… Run Smart

  1. It is crazy hot here in Florida. I’ve done a LOT of treadmill running because I just can’t “stand the heat.” I’m a cold weather runner plan and simple. Yes my throat hurts after a run due to breathing in so much cold air, but I prefer cold to hot!

    Oh, and the story about the bear had me cracking up! 😀

    Have fun sailing!!!!! Sounds like it is going to be a blast!

  2. Great tips for exercise! I have to be careful when I work out because of something with my heart, and it’s so important to prepare for this. Have a great time sailing!

  3. I think i’ll be doing LOTS of treadwill walking training for my half-marathon in October! I love sunshine, but not a fan of the heatttttt!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I haven’t heard of the rule of 50 before but I live in Florida and I am currently in Alabama and running outside is very uncomfortable! I usually don’t love the treadmill but I think I can handle the trade when it’s 100 degrees outside! I’ve been on a really big sail boat before but not a small one. I’ve lost a pair of sunglasses and a few other things over the side of a boat before but never a teddy:( You poor thing!

  5. JEALOUS. have so much fun sailing!

    I just started using a Fuel Belt for hydration during long runs in the heat… pew. I’m not a fan.

  6. The bear story is so cute (and sad)! Great tips for running smart, I’m bad about following those tips and nearly kill myself in the LA heat every summer. Gotta be smart though! And I do not run on Trash Day; one too many times have I done this and ended up nearly colliding with one because the windy hills in my neighborhood make it difficult for the heavy trucks to stop or for the drivers to see me. The other day one started backing up towards me (backwards)!

  7. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

    I haven’t ever heard of the 150 rule but it’s really interesting! The humidity is always so high in DC. I’m running at 6:30 or 7:00 am on Sunday and it will still be bordering on 150!
    I’ve never been sailing but I love the water. So much. I wish I could live & work on a beach 🙂
    Have a fun weekend!!!

  8. Great tips, girl! I don’t really exercise outside besides walking and just hanging around the beach. 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful time sailing!

  9. Meg

    SUCH an informative post! And I’m not even a fan of running – I loved this post so much! It works for ANY outdoor activity 😛 I try to stay inside when it’s too hot, but pup likes to go on walks sometimes – I like to bring a gargantuous bottle of ice wata!

  10. oh i’m way too chicken to run outside in freezing temps. i only run a couple miles once a week! and yesterday i made it out by 9am because the humidity kills me. i’m def an indoor exerciser but good tips nonetheless!

  11. While I have never lost something at sea that meant a lot to me, I did FIND a pair of oakley sunglasses once when I was much younger and rocked the heck out of those fancy $100 + shades like I was a grownup lady.

    Thumbholes for outdoor time in the cold are totally my jam, and I can’t imagine doing much exercise outside in the heat unless it’s something fun that I can forget I’m doing (like playing volleyball!!)

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