Tips for Running in Hot Weather

Here in the UK we’ve just experienced the hottest day in July since records began – a blistering 38 degrees C.

Now, I love being warm and outside with the sun shinning down but I’m afraid I’m a bit like Goldilocks. It has to be not too cold, not too hot, just right. And I’m more than likely to be sitting in the shade for a picnic. This week’s weather was certainly too hot for me!

So, being a warm with a cool breeze type of person I thought I’d share some tips on how to keep cool when running in the heat.

Keep hydrated

That means making sure you drink water before, during and after your run.

I find that ensuring you are well watered before running makes a huge difference and I try to make sure I drink enough water throughout the day. The key to making sure you are adequately hydrated is the toilet test. Your wee should be light straw coloured, too dark and you need more water, too light and you are drinking too much.

Wear sunscreen

Please, please make sure you are well protected in the sun. No one wants to burn or increase their risk of skin cancer.

I prefer factor 30 and make sure all exposed areas are covered. I’ve recently starting using a sweatproof sunscreen made for sports from Superdrugs which doesn’t leave that sticky feeling that some sunscreens can do.

Superdrugs products have the added benefit for me of being Cruelty Free International approved and most are marked as vegan! If you want to try an organic sunscreen Animal Aid have two vegan and organic sunscreens.

Wear less

Try wearing lightweight and light coloured clothing. Short sleeves and vests are good for the top and shorts for the bottom.

But if you don’t find shorts comfortable then why not try a sports skirt? Most have integrated shorts so you don’t have to worry about exposing yourself and are much more comfortable than the nylon PE skirts you may have had to wear at school.

I’ve recently bought a skirt from Decathlon which is fantastic as it includes four pockets, two of which are big enough for my phone!

Run off road

I can heartily recommend going for a run off road, preferably somewhere shady. Your local park might be shady enough but if you have woods or a large common near you that is even better. There is something very cooling about being out in the countryside, surrounded by lush green foliage.

Run in the coolest parts of the day

Early morning and evening are generally cooler and more pleasant to run in. I’m not much of an early morning runner but I really enjoy my evening runs during the summer.


Do you have any top tips for running in the heat? I’d love to hear them.

This post has been updated and was originally published in July 2015

Leave a Comment


  • Sarojini

    Great tips, thanks. We went on a 6.5 miler the day before yesterday and it was still really hot even tho we did it between 9and 10 pm. Today is cooler, so we’re going to try a hillier route.

    • Coach Nicola

      Well done on managing 6.5 miles in the heat! I hope your run today was more enjoyable.

      I should be out running at the weekend and I’m quite tempted by a run through the woods or by the canals.

  • Marion Harris

    I love the decathlon skort! Thanks for the link and the other tips too.

    • Coach Nicola

      I’m really glad I got it just before the hot weather. And having all the pockets is great, especially when coaching or on a long run. Phone, water, gels, notebook, all fit 🙂

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