My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

My Advice For Running In The Heat


So, I’m on tumblr.  I follow/reblog tags like running, HAES, bipolar, body positivity, etc.  From time to time I get questions from people about these things, including from runners just starting out or wanting to start.  Sometimes the advice I give actually gets reblogged, which makes me feel super special!

Salty Running (a blog by & for women runners) had a post today regarding more women runners blogging their expertise, which got me to thinking about if I have any expertise.  I give advice, so I guess I know something even if it is of the experiential variety, i.e. this is what has worked for me.  Since it’s already written up, & I am currently on the job of trying to clean up the disaster area my bedroom has become while catching up the dishes I didn’t do yesterday & hopefully get around to some custom jewelry & crochet orders I have had sitting around for far too long, I thought this was a good place to start.

I’m going to try to write about how I got started & how I have progressed when I have more time, because even if I’m not some super runner it’s something I like to share with people, especially people of size, about how to get started & how to keep going when you suck at sticking with things.  My blog is mainly about my journey & serves to hopefully encourage other people who live with mental illness or larger than the world would like bodies to get running, or whatever it is they want to do, but I guess I do know a few things & those people have questions.  It’s nice to be able to get answers from someone who knows something of what you’re going through, even if it’s a question a lot of other people could answer.

So without further ado:

A question from tumblr regarding advice on running when it's hot outside if you can't get up to do it in the mornings.

I am not a morning person, so that doesn’t work for me.  Years of experience have taught me however well meaning I was the night before, when that alarm goes off I’m probably not going to care to go running.  I do evening runs, as late as I can go out & finish before it gets dark hopefully.  Just in case, I have a skinny little LED flashlight on my key chain I run with, although I run where there are lights.

I always run with water, a little frozen or otherwise with ice in it works great because it will stay cold longer & thaw as you run.  I recently bought a double-walled water bottle for running, but haven’t taken it out yet.  If it’s really hot & i’m going to be a while, I’ll take a 2nd bottle to leave in the car for when I’m done or if I finish all my other water too fast.  I usually stash it in the console because it will stay cooler in there.

I wear loose, light colored clothing (when I’m not being a dummy like today that is), preferably cotton.  I read a lot about tech gear being better than cotton, but being plus size & on a budget I don’t have any of that to speak to.  So cotton t-shirts it is, but not too big & loose because I find when I get hot & sweaty all that extra fabric & seams swimming around me annoying.

Always wear a good sunscreen, sunglasses that won’t fall off when you sweat, & a visor isn’t a bad deal either – even if they look hella nerdy.  I had to break down & buy one last year, & as much as it hurt, I felt like I grew as a runner & as a person. *sniffle*

And most importantly take it easy when it’s hot out.  I’ve read something about runners going a minute slower for every 10f increase outside, so whatever that means for you, just don’t push too hard if it’s uncomfortably hot out.  And plan your route around available shade.  A storm took out the trees along my favorite waterfront long loop, so I have to avoid it now because it feels like running through one of those scenes where people are lost in the desert & can’t escape the sun.

I’m not a super experienced runner or anything, but living in Alabama I am super experienced with it being hotter than it has a right to be outside.  It can get in the triple digits here, so I frequently run in the 90’s, but that’s what I’m used to.  The number one rule of the heat is to avoid being outside in the hottest most direct hours of sunlight as much as you can, something like 10a-4p, the noon/afternoon hours.  And just take it easy & be aware of how you are feeling & sweating:

I hope that answers you’re question!

So, not sure if that counts as running expertise, but that’s what I have to offer today.  And for reference, here is me in my visor:

A photo of me wearing a red visor before going running.


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

4 thoughts on “My Advice For Running In The Heat

  1. Love the tips! Something else that I find useful: bring a cotton hanky along and wipe as you drip! Nothing’s worse than sweat in your eyes.

    • Yes! I didn’t even think about that one, but I have a long cotton hand towel I carry. A friend of mine who runs told me about running with a sweat towel one day while I was complaining about all the sweat on my face during the summer. It was one of those lightbulb moments where I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of that>_<

  2. I like how you incorporated Greg’s guest point into your site and its mission. I think just having confidence in what you deliver makes you an expert. In your reply above, that confidence shows! I love this site by the way because it’s very encouraging for those with mental health stressors. I admire your honesty and hope to actually share the link with others I work with to show them an example of someone who is successfully living despite those challenges.

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