As I was cleaning out my running bag the other day, I looked at the temperature on my phone (92 degrees!) and realized that it was probably safe to pull out my winter gloves and hat from the bag and shove them into the back of a drawer. I won’t be needing those any time soon.
But even though the weather is warmer now, that doesn’t mean I can just head out for my runs completely carefree. Here are some summer running items that help me get through the hot and humid months:
Running sunglasses: My eyes are very sensitive to sunlight so I like to wear sunglasses even during partly sunny days. If I don’t, I find myself squinting throughout my run, which sometimes gives me a headache. A good pair of UV-blocking running sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, and even give your face some additional protection (but don’t skip the sunscreen!).
For years, I wore a pair of inexpensive running sunglasses that I had bought at a race expo. I was too worried that I’d lose or break a pricey pair. HOWEVER, I completely changed my mind about shelling out some money for a nice pair of running sunglasses when my husband bought me my first pair of Oakleys. What a difference a good pair of sunglasses makes! My Oakley Half Jacket sunglasses are so comfortable that I sometimes almost forget I’m wearing them. Even when the sweat is pouring down my face, they stay put. And they come with a hard case, which I always use when I’m not wearing them, keeping them safe from me accidentally sitting on them or crushing them with something heavy in my running bag.
Sunscreen: I’ve made numerous sunscreen mistakes over the years – forgetting it completely, not reapplying during a sweaty long run, and thinking I didn’t need it for a short run. I’ve finally figured out what works for me and haven’t had a sunscreen mishap in a while. I slather on a waterproof sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 about 15-20 minutes before I head out, so my skin has time to absorb it. I like to use the stick type on my face because then it doesn’t run in my eyes. Skin can get burned in as little as 10 minutes (trust me), so I wear it even for short runs. Finally, if I’m doing a really long run and I’m concerned about sweating off my sunscreen, I tuck a disposable sunscreen wipe in my running pack.
Water bottle (or other carriers): Staying hydrated during runs is important all year long, but especially in the hot weather when you’re sweating a lot. I prefer to use a hand-held water bottle, like Amphipod’s Hydraform, but lots of runners use hydration belts or backpacks. Amy of Running on Faith and Coffee loves her Camelbak Hydration Vest. I used a Camelbak when I did some Spartan obstacle course races because I didn’t have great access to water for refilling and I also needed to keep my hands free.
For shorter runs, I love the size and comfort of Fuel Belt’s 10oz Sprint Bottle. It’s perfect when I don’t want to or really need to carry a larger bottle, but still need a few sips during my run.
Water running floatation belt: I’ll admit, sometimes it’s just too hot and humid to run outside! That’s when I put on my floatation belt and do some water running instead. I bought my AquaJogger belt on a whim for a couple bucks at a tag sale, and I absolutely love it! If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it. It’s not as easy as it looks – but it’s a fun and refreshing way to get in a running workout on a brutally hot day. If you have young kids, it’s a great way to be in the pool with them and still get a workout in.
Check out my Summer Running Bucket List!