It is THAT time of year again. After lamenting a record winter of snow and ice which forced many runners indoors and onto the dreadmill for months on end, we now enter the hot and sticky months of summer, battling heat and humidity. I tried to enjoy the 2 months of mayflies, wind and rain in between, really I did. At least I was back outside. But is it just me, or is there really only one season of good running? I love the fall months when the air turns crisp and the temperatures drop and leaves change color to provide a beautiful backdrop to every run. Alas, that is months away. For the foreseeable future, the forecast will be:
So how do we survive the heat? Below are some of the ways I stay cool(er) when it’s hot, hot, hot along with some tips I have learned along the way from running friends:
- Run early in the morning or later in the day
- Try to find a shaded path
- Plan a route with water fountains so you can refill on the run (if not possible, drive the route beforehand and stash cold water bottles along the way)
- Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are your friend
- Chilly neck towels can keep you cool
- Freeze your water bottle overnight and let it thaw as you run which will keep it nice and cold for the duration – and also force you to ration!
- Say YES to running through sprinklers if you are lucky enough to pass by them
- Ice cubes under your hat and in your bra: don’t knock it ’til you try it!
Some of these may be “same old, same old” things you have heard a million times. So I am happy to add a new one to my list! I was recently given the opportunity to try a Handana, which is exactly what it sounds like: a bandana for your hand.
This helps to wipe the sweat away as you run. I have also found it helpful with watery eyes in wind and a runny nose during allergy season! I have run with it slightly chilled as well which helped to offer moments of refreshing relief on the run. I hate the humidity and am always looking for new tools in my arsenal against the heat, so I was thrilled to find this!
It is made of soft, wicking Lycra fabric that wraps around your hand, leaving your fingers free to crack open your water bottle or rip open a GU. It is very lightweight and comfortable. I generally run with wrist bands in the heat for the same reason, but found this to be so much better on the run because there is more fabric to wipe away the sweat and it is easier to access on your hand. Not to mention, it looks fabulous! It is durable, machine washable, and comes in many different sizes and colors. You could match one to every running outfit! (Yes, these are the things I think about.)
After I had run with it a few times, I realized I could expand my usage by trying it on my bike. Like many cyclists, I wear gloves when riding and was thrilled to find I could use my Handana as well. It feels great on the bike. I have also seen Handanas in action for yoga or raquet sports so think outside the run!
Do you ever hear of these kinds of ideas and wonder how someone ever came up with them? I certainly do! Learn more about Handana here, including the backstory which is remarkable:
So, do you want to try one? Well, you are in luck because we have one to give-away to a reader just in time for summer! Our lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook page on Wednesday, June 25!
To enter, use the Rafflecopter Give-Away link below. We’re asking you to share your best tip for summer running by leaving a comment on this post, “like” us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and/or tweet about the give-away. Good luck to all…may the odds be ever in your favour!
UPDATED: We have a winner! Congratulations Tammy McConnell George! Please head on over to our Facebook page to message us and claim your prize.
Tell Us: What is your best tip for staying cool on the run?