Must-Have Accessories to Stay Cool on Your Summer Runs
There is something about June that makes me even more excited to hit the ground running - literally. It’s easier to motivate ourselves to get those kilometers in when the day starts with promises of sunshine and warmer weather. With the higher temperatures, though, we need to ensure that we are prepared to withstand the heat to ensure that our runs are safe and fun.
One way to beat the heat is to stay hydrated. I used to have a really hard time drinking while running, but over the years, I have found that keeping myself well-hydrated prevents me from cramping and burning out too early. You can find routes that have water fountains available. If you want to make sure you have water on hand at all times, however, there are a lot of options out there. On shorter runs, I like to take my handheld Nathan Plus Insulated Flask, which holds 18 ounces of water and is very comfortable to carry. I alternate hands every few kilometers so that both of my arms get an equal amount of strength training!
On longer runs where I know I will be out for several hours, I take my Salomon ADV SKIN 12 SET with me. It holds two 500mL soft flasks in the front pockets and also has an extra pocket in the back that holds a 2L bladder. This was a much bigger investment, but it has definitely been a lifesaver for me, especially during my ultramarathon training last year. I have no intention of running a race that long in the near future, but I will definitely use my pack again. It is very comfortable and convenient, and with it, I never have to worry about running out of water.
Another way to stay comfortable in rising temperatures is to dress accordingly. Everyone has personal preferences when it comes to brands and styles for run apparel - I tend to lean towards lululemon or adidas – but I will wear just about anything as long as it is comfortable and made from quality materials. Look for light, sweat-wicking fabrics when you are dressing for spring and summer weather.
I prefer pieces that are loose and airy - they are more comfortable and prevent chafing. Two items that I am pretty faithful to include lululemon’s Speed Shorts and Run Swiftly Tech Racerback/Short Sleeve Crew.
A hat, sunglasses and a generous layer of sunscreen are key to protect yourself from the sun. The last thing you want is to damage your skin or get sunburned while doing something you love.
A few more items that I cannot live without include:
- Adidas Ultra Boosts - These are my most comfortable running shoes and have kept me injury-free over the last year.
- Pro Compression socks - I’ve been using these for years and can confirm that they are amazing for both performance and recovery. They have graduated compression, which aids blood circulation and speeds up recovery. Bonus: they are moisture-wicking, so you can wear them on hot days without feeling overheated.
- Garmin Forerunner 235 - I use this GPS watch to track the speed and distance of all of my runs. It is very light and user-friendly.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 - I have always been one to take my phone with me on my runs, no matter how long I’m out for. I like to have it on me for safety reasons, but it also doubles as a great tool for keeping your run statistics. There are many running apps you can use to upload your runs and analyze all of your data. It’s a convenient way to track your progress, set new goals and challenge yourself to try new things.
It may seem slightly overwhelming to read about all of these products and “must-haves,” but running doesn’t have to be complicated. If you are just starting out, all you need is a few quality pieces of apparel and a pair of comfortable running shoes. I have accumulated all of the items mentioned in this article over the last few years as I became more and more committed to the sport. Take it one day at a time and be patient in figuring out what works for you!
Run happy and stay cool!