Skip to Content

11 Tips For Running In The Heat (When It’s Hot, Hot, Hot)

We may all love a bit of sunshine, especially when you live somewhere where it rains a lot, but summer running in the heat is TOUGH.

It’s all too easy to abandon training plans or end up running into trouble by being too ambitious. I know, I’ve been there!

The best tips for running in the heat are:

  • Slow down and take it easy, avoid running in the hottest part of the day, wear a cap, use high-factor suncream, and hydrate.
tips for running in the heat

This review is based on my own independent product knowledge and testing. If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links. I may earn a commission but it’s at no additional cost to you. Learn more about my product recommendations.

✅ Even experienced runners can be caught out running in the heat. Read on to find out how. I learned my lesson – when the sun’s out I’m never without my favorite hydration aid!

Top Tips For Running In The Heat

Here are my top 11 tips for running in the heat (based on five years of experience living in a very hot country). These summer running tips will help you complete your run in the heat and humidity.

Find out ways to stick to your summer running plan and complete those hard workouts safely even in soaring temperatures. Proper hydration and carrying water with me are at the top of the list!

summer running tips in the heat and humidity

#1 Hydrate Before You Run

In my view, this is the most important tip. If you wait until you start running, it’s too late. You need to be fully hydrated before you set off.

If you have a race in the heat coming up, keep sipping water the day before. Now you don’t need to go crazy and drink more than you need, (hyponatremia caused by excess fluid consumption is a real risk all runners should be aware of), but let’s face it – most of us don’t drink enough. Dehydration is also a cause of stomach problems when you run. Read my tips on why running makes you poop!

So don’t neglect your hydration. Give your body a chance by topping up your fluid levels in good time before you start to run.

#2 Take Fluids With You

When it’s really hot or for longer runs, make sure you take fluids with you. Sipping from a soft flask or hand-held water bottle can make all the difference when you’re running in the heat.

I like the way you can squash a soft flask in your pocket when it’s empty!

If you’re heading far from home, carry plenty of fluids. It’s always best to take too much. The last thing you want is to blow up halfway through a run, with no water left, many miles from home.

Either stash soft flasks in your race vest or carry a bladder pack. It can feel a little strange running with a pack at first but these racing packs are so light and easy to wear. You’ll soon get used to it and anything is better than gasping with thirst!

I find Nathan race vests fit so well and are incredibly lightweight – you hardly notice you’re wearing one. I have quite a selection depending on how much kit I need to carry for a trail race. My favorite by far is the super lightweight Hypernight Quickstart 2.0. It carries all the water I need for a long trail race. worth the investment!

If you’re on a budget CamelBak’s Chase Bike Vest is a neat option. It uses a hydration bladder and works for both biking and running.

FITLY Soft Flask - 5 oz (150 ml)- Shrink As You Drink Pocket Soft Water Bottle for Hydration Pack/Running Vest- Folding Water Bottle for Running, Hiking, Cycling - Ski Water Bottles (FLASK150)

This Fitly soft flask is easy to squash in your pocket when you’re finished hydrating!

Nathan Pinnacle Race Vest & 4L Hydration Pack with 2 20 oz Hydration Soft Flask, Water-Resistant Pockets, Lightweight & Moisture Wicking

Some women collect shoes, I collect race vests! This one’s my favorite!

Nathan SpeedView Flask, Handheld Water Bottle & Phone Case Holder, Insulated for Running & Walking, 18oz

I love the way this bottle has the extra option for stashing your phone or house keys!

CamelBak Chase Bike Vest 50oz - Hydration Vest - Easy Access Pockets, Black

More affordable, this Camelbak is a good option for longer runs when you need to carry extra fluid.

#3 Start Off Slowly

It’s best to ease into a run and this is especially true when it’s hot. Start off slowly and you can always pick up the pace if you’re feeling okay.

Running in the heat places a big toll on your body. If the weather has suddenly got a lot hotter, you’ll need to adapt to running in the heat.

Save intense workouts for cooler days or when your body has adjusted to the higher temperatures.

running in the heat

#4 Run In The Early Morning

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Noel Coward

Instead of struggling under the intense midday heat, try and run in the early morning. There’s something very special about hitting the trails before the day starts to heat up.

Running in the evening is also an option but it’s never quite as cool.

#5 Run In The Shade

In summer it’s often best to choose your running routes wisely. Running along trails through the woods on a summer’s day can be deliciously cool. Flogging across sun-baked fields, not so much.

Pick routes that stay out of direct sunlight or head to the hills where it’s often a lot cooler.

#6 Dress For The Sun

Light colors reflect the heat, looser fitting tops from wicking materials will help you stay cool, and think twice before you opt for a skimpy vest.

When the sun’s intense, it’s best to cover up. Keeping your shoulders covered is a good idea. Waking up to sunburn the next day is seriously not fun.

#7 Use High Factor Sun Cream

When the sun’s out, I always reach for at least SPF 50 (sun protection factor). Sweat just seems to wash off anything else so it’s best to go for maximum protection.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 70, 3 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

This is one of the best sunscreens I’ve found for running with a whopping SPF 70 protection. It’s also water-resistant which stops it from washing off when the sweat starts to pour!

Another tip is to use Children’s sunscreen. It’s often cheaper and at least SPF 50.

Maybe Factor 50 is a hangover from running in desert temperatures but in my view sunburn sucks. Just avoid and protect your skin.

#8 Get Your Shades Out + Wear A Cap

Shades don’t just protect your eyes from UV, they add style to any outfit. Running in summer is the one chance you get to wear shades without looking pretentious.

Add a cap to your running outfit. It helps to keep you cool, keeps the sun off your face, and stops it from ruining your hair.

Gaiam Women's Running Hat - Classic Fitness Purple Workout Hat with Quick-Dry Sweatband & Adjustable Moisture Wicking, Cute & Cooling Baseball Cap for Hiking & Summer Beach Vacation - Lilac

I never run anywhere without wearing a suncap in summer! This one also comes in several colors including white and it’s very lightweight with a moisture-wicking sweatband to keep you cool!

Oakley OO9208 Radar Ev Path Sunglasses+ Vision Group Accessories Bundle(Polished White/Prizm Sapphire (920873), mens

Hot and sunny weather is a good excuse to pose in your favorite running shades! These Oakley ones stay put when you run.

#9 Go For Short Runs

Don’t underestimate the effects of heat. On really hot days it can be dangerous to run for longer periods.

Pick a short running route or take a rest day. Sometimes you just need to be realistic.

#10 Take Your Training Indoors

Trying to fit in a speed session? Assuming your gym has air conditioning, running on a treadmill may be your only option.

It’s a way of staying out of the heat and a good choice if you’re in serious training for a race.

#11 Be Aware Of Warning Signs

Every runner should be aware of the warning signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. When you’re running you need to stay in tune with your body and watch out for signs you’ve had enough of the heat.

Here are the signs to watch out for:

Heat Exhaustion

  • Muscle cramps
  • Heavy sweating
  • Pale or cold skin
  • Weakness and/or confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dark-colored urine, which indicates dehydration


The above symptoms and the following:

  • Fever of 104°F or higher
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

Running regularly in a hot country for 5 years, I could tell when enough was enough. I could sense when my core temperature was starting to rise. Lack of sweating or a drop in sweating rate was always a big indicator.

If this happens to you, stop running. Find some shade and lie down, elevate your legs, and sip fluids slowly. Try and get medical help. It’s a good idea to run with your phone especially on longer runs – just in case of emergencies.

Once, when I was in my early twenties, I had heatstroke trying to run in summer in Tibet. Fortunately, the friend I was with came from Greece. She’d seen it all before and knew the warning signs.

We were in the middle of nowhere, somewhere on the road from Kathmandu to Lhasa. My friend got me into the shade and flagged down a passing tourist bus to take us to safety.

It was a lifesaver. The severity of heat exhaustion and heat stroke must never be underestimated. I don’t want to put you off running in the heat but just be aware of the dangers.

11 tips for running in the heat
Enjoy this post? Please give my pin a share!