As promised – the sequel to my first two-part blog post! I did an 18 km early morning run yesterday and by the time I was finished, it was already 27 degrees. Oddly, the heat didn’t really hit me until I stopped and was on my cooldown walk. Maybe it was because I was already thinking about how to survive running in the heat or maybe I’m just being more responsible, but I felt pretty prepared for the conditions which was nice. Today’s post is going to cover clothing and the other miscellaneous gadgets and accessories that make summer running a more pleasant experience.
Running is one of those activities where you really can spend as little or as much as you want to on clothing, but the more running you do the more you see the benefits in spending a little more on seasonal clothing. The right clothing makes such a HUGE difference in comfort that it’s actually hard to believe. I’m not talking footwear either, as that is a separate topic and there are little dozens of magazines and books covering the benefits of every style.
Lightweight, breathable fabric that is also moisture wicking is worth its weight in gold. The difference between running in a tech shirt and a regular cotton t-shirt is amazing. Similarly, running in a singlet rather than a t-shirt is more comfortable still and can really help keep you cool on the hotter training days.
Socks and shorts designed specifically for running (or at least physical activity) are also good investments. Again, breathable and lightweight fabrics are important. They not only feel more comfortable, but keeping moisture away from skin can also reduce chafing – which is one of the more common and painful things runners go through.
Headgear is also important and something that I see a lot of runners neglecting in summer heat. Whether it’s a simple visor, a buff or a breathable ball cap, having something to keep some of the sun off of your head and face is great. I also like having something on my head that I can soak either before or during a run that will cool me down as the water evaporates. Fancy!
Hot weather runners are the most accessorized runners. Sometimes we can look a little silly with all of the gear that we wear or use, but if it all has an actual purpose or helps us be safer, it’s worth it. Even when wearing a ball cap (which is almost always when running) I will wear sunglasses. Besides being fun, having extra protection from the sun is never a bad thing for the old eyeballs.
Sunscreen is another thing I would put in the miscellaneous category and it’s something that I pay for big time when I forget. I burn easily and badly, which is a bad combo if you spend hours at a time outside in just running gear. Bug spray is something that I also slather on for trail runs, but for road runs, I leave it at home. There seems to be fewer bugs, plus the breeze around Sackville tend to keep the black flies and mosquitoes at bay.
Lastly, having a phone or identification bracelet (like Road ID) – or both – is important. Besides the good practice of making sure at least one other person knows your route and what time to expect you back, it’s never a bad thing to be prepared for bad scenarios.
Are there summer running gadgets or gear that I’ve overlooked? Are there other tips you’d like to share with other runners to help them get the most of their summer running? Post below!