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10 Summer Running Tips To Stay Motivated

Summer running can be a bit like marmite, the British staple savory spread that people either love or hate. On wet days like today, I dream of running into a wall of heat on a beautiful summer’s day. Others will shudder at the mere idea of running when the temperatures start to soar.

But even if you love the sunshine, running in the heat and humidity can take some getting used to. These summer running tips by a running coach will help find your motivation.

summer running tips for motivation on your summer runs

1. Adapt To Hot Weather Slowly

The sun can take you by surprise. One day it’s cold and you’re running in warm layers and then suddenly it’s hot and humid and you’re melting just running around the block.

Your body needs time to adjust. When hot weather hits, slow down your runs and reduce the distances. Give your body time to adapt. It can take up to two weeks to fully adjust to running in hot weather.

2. Avoid Peak Heat

In the old Noel Coward song, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. Don’t be that person!

Run in the early morning before work or later in the evening when it starts to cool down. If you do end up running at midday, try and run in the shade. Seek out forest paths, the shady side of the street, or north-facing mountain slopes!

summer running tips for motivation

3. Hydrate Before, During & After Your Run

In really hot weather, it’s not enough to just take some fluids with you on your run. Make sure you’re fully hydrated BEFORE you set off.

If I’m running a summer ultra race, I’ll start topping up my fluid levels the day before. I’ll make sure I don’t just drink water and I’ll sip electrolytes throughout the day.

Most of us fail to drink enough on a daily basis but you do need to be wary of the dangerous condition of hyponatremia caused by over-drinking water and upsetting your blood-sodium levels.

During a run or race, the latest guidelines are to drink when you’re thirsty. This can be hard to judge. Try taking a sip of fluids at regular intervals. If the sip becomes a gulp – you’re probably thirsty!

4. Sort Out Your Summer Running Gear

Don’t wait until the sun starts shining to sort out your summer running outfit. It can be a great motivator to treat yourself to some new gear.

Think light, loose, and breathable. Stick to technical fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. Choose lighter colors to reflect the sun’s rays rather than darker colors that absorb them.

Wear a cap and don’t forget about sunscreen! Protect your skin by applying a high SPF before heading out for your run.

Try different ways to cool yourself down. Soak your cap in icy water before starting your run, or even soak your running vest! Running in an ice vest or cooling vest gets mixed reviews – if you give it a try choose a vest that won’t impede your runs.

5. Listen to Your Body

Running in the heat can take a toll on your body, so listen to what it’s telling you. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, stop and find shade immediately.

It’s also best to adjust your pace and distance during hot weather. Don’t push yourself too hard – this can lead to exhaustion or heat stroke. Read our tips for running in the heat when it’s hot, hot, hot!

summer running motivation

6. Set Your Summer Training Goals

Provided it’s not exceptionally hot, summer can be the best time to give your running a boost. Make the most of light mornings by getting up for an early run.

It’s not just the coolest time of the day, it gets your morning run out of the way before the day’s distractions and obligations start piling up.

I love training for longer races in the summer months. Extra daylight and warmer weather make it the perfect time to push myself and I’ll get carried away setting summer challenges.

If you’re new to running, set yourself a goal of completing a 5K by the end of summer. If you’re already an experienced runner, aim for a personal best in your next race or challenge yourself with a new distance.

7. Find A Fun Summer Challenge

Running should never be boring. Mix things up by signing up for a fun summer race or challenge.

From color runs to muddy obstacle courses, there are plenty of options to keep you motivated and entertained during the hot summer months. Try these fun 30-Day Running challenges.

8. Discover Trails

Right now I’m dreaming of dry and dusty trails. If you’ve never tried trail running, the time to give it a go is the summer months.

Running up and down hills may be daunting but there’s something magical about running in nature. To get started, try local parks and search for easy waymarked routes.

Make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle and that you can navigate safely around your route. Take plenty of fluids, wear appropriate trail shoes, and pack safety equipment – the weather can turn quickly if you’re venturing into the mountains.

9. Post-Run Treats

One of the best things about running in summer? You can motivate yourself with delicious post-run treats. These won’t destroy any diet goals:

  • Slices of watermelon
  • Frozen grapes
  • Iced tea
  • Homemade ice lollies made from coconut water and fruit puree

Thinking about cooling recovery drinks and treats will help you get around those hot, steamy routes!

10. Social Events

Summer running is best enjoyed with friends. Join a local running club and enjoy their social runs. Most clubs organize events in summer such as trailhead runs followed by barbeques, club relay races, and fun runs with prizes.

You can also organize your own running event with friends and family. Make it a potluck picnic where everyone brings a dish or snack to share after the running.

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