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8 Ways To Stay Safe Running In The Heat

We can survive the heat, but we can’t beat it.

This past weekend, I ran the Narragansett Beer Half Marathon in North Easton, Mass. It wasn’t pretty. I mean, the course was beautiful and mostly flat, and the after-party was off the hook, but that was only after having punished myself with 13.1 miles of brutal sun and humidity on mostly-exposed pavement. HOT, I tell ‘ya. Every muscle protested, screaming and wondering aloud why we weren’t lounging inside with the AC on full blast.

But I survived this half-marathon of torture, and so can you.

Running in the heat can be difficult but  it can also be exhilarating—afterwards. The copious amounts of sweat dripping off your body feel almost therapeutic. You become one with the sun and maybe your shoes melt too, so you become one with the ground.

So instead of opting out of hot races and daily training runs, you can survive the heat and live to tell the tale.

Here’s how:

TRAIN in the heat

Running a race in the heat shouldn’t be the first time you’ve run when it’s hot. Train yourself to be outside with the sun a few miles at a time.


Make sure your water and electrolyte stores are balanced before, during and after your run.


Make sure you have enough calories to sustain you throughout your run. Your body is working extra hard to cool you down in the heat, so make sure it is fed.

Slow down

Trying to get a PR? Maybe not today. You don’t want to run the risk of overheating and succumbing to heat exhaustion. This can quickly become dangerous.

Stop at the water stops

If you’re like me and carry your own hydration, you can still stop at the water stops and splash water on yourself. Sometimes they even have ice. No joke, I put it in my bra EVERY TIME (just make sure to BODY GLIDE THE LADIES, though…).

Wear a cap or visor

This will help shade your face. If your face feels cool, that’s at least one part of your body that is cool…

Wear sunscreen

Even I wear sunscreen. ‘Nuff said.


If you feel weak and/or dizzy, that is a sign that you’ve done too much. There will always be another race on another day. Take care of yourself.

Fat Girl Running

Fat Girl Running

My name is Mirna Valerio, aka @TheMirnavator. I am a native of Brooklyn and current resident of northeast Georgia. I'm a Spanish teacher, diversity educator, cross-country coach, marathoner, ultrarunner and blogger, writing about all things running and living life to its fullest while being a larger gal on my blog, Fatgirlrunning. I have a son who is 12 and a hubby who travels a lot, mostly in West Africa. I try to live by example. We only have one body and one life. We must love our bodies and ultimately our entire selves in order to be whole people, in order to live our lives to the fullest. The road to self-acceptance and self-love is a long one, and one that requires a commitment to loving yourself (and spreading that love to others) no matter how you perceive yourself that moment, day, or year. Get out there and be. And run all the roads and trails.