Working out in extreme temperatures


As the weather starts to cool, I greet the changing temperature with relief. It’s the same every year – as summer comes around, I welcome the sunshine and lessening of rain – but find the heat hard to run in. And when winter blows in, I’m glad that it’s cool enough that I can work out in the afternoon, but just forcing myself out into the cold is a bit of a drag, not to mention the fact that rain can be a bit of a deterrent.

However, if the weather was to stop us all from getting out and running in nature, well, we’d never be out there! So here are some of the tips I’ve picked up to keep a regular routine even in the most extreme of temps:

Tips for working out in the heat:

1) When it’s hot, schedule your runs for either the early or late hours of the day when it’s much cooler.

2) Keep yourself hydrated – make sure you drink plenty of water.

3) Dress appropriately – wear light, easy-breathing clothing and put on a cap and sunnies to keep the sun off your face.

4) Be mindful of your body – if it’s telling you no, it just can’t go any more in this heat, slow down. Take a rest. Have a drink of water. Walk the rest of the way. Don’t overdo it – you don’t want to have heatstroke!

5) Sometimes, it’s hard waking up early to do a long run – especially as the sun rises earlier in summer too. And getting in a run in the evenings can be a little hard to fit in around social appointments and dinner with the family. So if you must, break your run into two – finish one half in the morning and one half in the evening so you don’t have to worry about having enough time to fit in all those kilometres at once.

6) Wear plenty of sun protection!!

7) If it’s really too hot, get indoors. Do a circuit workout in the comfort of your (air-conditioned) living room or head to the gym to hit the treadmill instead.

Tips for working out in the cold:

1) Check the weather forecast for the next seven days to plan ahead – if it looks like it’s going to rain on Monday, schedule your gym workout for Monday and your outdoor running routine for Tuesday instead.

2) Dress appropriately – if you’re heading out to brave the forces of nature, a hoodie and light waterproof clothing would help to keep the rain off you.

3) Keep an extra pair of running shoes to switch to while you’re drying out your other pair from all that splashing in puddles.

4) Speaking of puddles, be careful as you run – you don’t want to injure yourself slipping on the wet pavement!

5) Cold sunny winter afternoons or late mornings are great for running – it’s not so hard to get out of your warm snuggly bed when the sun is shining and it won’t be too hot that you’d sweat yourself into a heatstroke.

6) But as always, remember, sun protection even in the face of winter!

7) If you’re brave, don’t be afraid to head out for a run in light rain – if you don’t mind being stared at by drivers going by, wondering what on earth you’re doing out there. I draw the line at lightning storms though!

8) Remember to keep hydrated – even if it’s wet outside, you need to hydrate your insides too while working out!


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