Summer Running Tips and Tricks

The white walkers have been defeated, winter has come and gone, and now it’s time for some fire….(Hopefully you get that Game of Thrones reference…) But in all reality, it’s about that time of year again for us southerners to use our best tips and tricks against the heat and humidity.


As year-round runners in North Carolina, we have had to work around some crazy weather. Luckily, we have some “cool” ideas to keep you up to speed in the coming heat.

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1. Adjust your pace and your expectations

Always remember that running in the heat and humidity affects your pace and perceived effort. Be easy on yourself, especially when it first starts to get hot outside and your body isn’t acclimated yet. If you wear a GPS watch, take your lap split off or change screens so you don’t constantly see what pace you’re running.

2. Electrolytes BEFORE running

Most of us know that it’s important to rehydrate after a hot run with electrolytes, but it’s also helpful to take in hydration before a hot run. Trying a low sugar option is always your best bet; we recommend UCAN hydrate or Nuun tablets.

3. Watermelon or ice pops right after a run

Have you ever craved cold fruit or a slushie during the last couple of miles of a summer run? Having fruit or ice pops ready in a cooler at your final destination is always a treat. It also helps with recovery to get some carbs in right after a hard effort.

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4. Always have a towel handy in the car

This one is necessary--unless you want your car smelling like a middle school boys’ locker room. Planning ahead and throwing a beach towel in the car to put on the seat can really help you stay dry on some of the sweatier days. It’s also a good idea if you’re into tip #5!

5. Find a local watering hole!

It’s always an awesome surprise when you find a fun place to take a dip after a run. Planning summer trail runs makes it more likely that you’ll find a babbling brook or stream to take a quick ice bath in. If you’re an urbanite, plan to end your run at a local pool.

6. Sweat wicking socks

One of the worst things about humidity and summer sweat is having wet socks and blisters. It’s important to invest in a technical sock, especially during the summer months. We personally suggest the Run 360 style from Stance.

7. Enough space in shoes for swelling

This is a tip useful for the whole year, but it is especially important in the summer months when blistering is even more common. You want to make sure you have a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the top of your running shoe. This space allows for swelling and can prevent blistering and losing toenails!

8. Oiselle flyout tops

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The HoverFit fabric used by Oiselle is a life saver in the summer. It’s so lightweight, you can barely even tell you have a shirt on. It doesn’t trap smell and wicks the sweat right off the skin. We like the flyout tank the best!

9. Embrace your inner trucker

Especially if you’re running when the sun is out, protecting your beautiful face from those pesky UV rays is important! Wearing a hat with mesh panels can help keep you cool and shaded.

10. Find a squad

Sweaty runs are way more fun with friends. Check out our Raleigh Running Guide for a list of running clubs, or join a team like The Pursuit to chase your goals with other like-minded runners.

Any tips we missed? Let us know! And come beat the heat with us every Thursday morning at our 6am group run from Cup a Joe :)