Heat Hacks for Summer Running

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Hello from the smack dab middle of summer. Have you made it so far? I retreated to the air-conditioned safety of the treadmill on Sunday when temperatures in Southern New Jersey climbed to 98 degrees because I didn’t want to hurt myself (“Mary Poppins Returns” was a delightful companion).

But summer is far from over, so I put the question out on Twitter: What are your summer running heat hacks?

Jamey Bradbury from Anchorage (where it hit 90 degrees on the Fourth of July) runs on trails next to creeks so she can dunk her hat in (just be sure not to drink from creeks because a Giardia infection is no joke).

Of course you can carry water, but that can add to your workout — I did half my Saturday run last weekend on a track because I could leave my hydration pack on a step next to it. Rob Rueff from Cincinnati has a great idea — he asks friends who live along his long run route to leave water in their mailboxes for him.

Andy Bellavia from Itasca, Ill., carries a cheap face cloth so he can wipe sweat off his face. For this year’s Fourth of July 5K, my mom brought a cooler filled with ice water and towels so we could slap them on our faces and necks afterward (rally towels given out at sporting events work well for this).

[Read safety tips for dealing with a heat wave.]

A lot of people also said they make sure to have beach towels in their cars if they drive to their running spot, so they can wipe off sweat when they’re done. If I start and stop a run at my house, I leave one on my back step. I also water my plants after a run, and use the hose to water myself.

Readers had a lot of tips about how to deal with sweaty running clothes. I have a laundry basket at the bottom of my basement stairs so I can toss my gross clothes right into it. When Jay Holder, director of marketing and communications of the Atlanta Track Club, runs to work, he’ll leave his wet running clothes on his car to dry (but warns it’s easy to lose them if he forgets they’re there when he drives home). Diane Hill from Cincinnati has a separate drying rack for her running clothes.

Terry Lee of Mattapoisett, Mass., suggested one of my favorite things to do when I’m in an area that allows for it: Run to the beach. I also once finished a 17-mile run in the Outer Banks by jumping in a pool.

Multiple people told me that they put ice in their hats or in their sports bras. I’ve never tried it — have you? Let me know how it worked. I’m on Twitter @byjenamiller.

Also, a heads up! The Times is hosting an event on Aug. 6 in New York City called “Covering the 2020 Election: Politics, Pacing and Comfort Food.” As part of the event, Lindsay Crouse will be talking with the Olympic runner Alexi Pappas (that’s where the “pacing” part of the title comes in, whether it’s for 26.2 miles or 15 months until Election Day). Want to go? Use code “NYT” for $10 off your ticket.

Run Well!

— Jen

Jen A. Miller is the author of “Running: A Love Story.

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