10 Reasons To Love Summer Running

“I hate running in the heat.”

“I sweat too much.” (No such thing.)

“I don’t want sports bra tan lines.” (Why not? They’re sexy and classy and look great with strapless dresses at weddings.)

“You have to wake up too early to beat the heat.”

“The gym is air conditioned. I’ll just run on the treadmill.”

“I get too dehydrated running when it’s hot out.”

You’re all insane, you people who say those blasphemous things.

I’m not running today, that’s for sure. Instead, I’m blogging from bed where I’ll likely be spending the majority of my day.

I know. Few things in life are more beautiful than this photo. You're welcome, Internet. Also, that is a pineapple juice concoction, made by Chef Brian. It is not a mimosa, sadly.

Things are not so great on the Crohn’s front today.

By the time I left the office last night, I was shaking because I was so cold. No one else in my office was blue and freezing, so I figured that was a bad sign.

I went to the gym and, fully clothed, stood in the sauna for a while to warm up. I’m sure that’s exactly what Crunch had in mind when those saunas were installed in the locker rooms. “This sauna will be great for people to sit in after exercising, or during a Crohn’s-induced fever fit. We are brilliant!” I know, that conversation most likely happened between some higher-ups, and for that I’m grateful.

I actually did take a Chisel class at the gym, which went shockingly well. We did a cardio warm-up followed by a ton of upper body and shoulder moves, and those 45 minutes of slight sweating proved what I already know to be true: That working out is good for me.

I know not to overdo it when I’m sick, but I also know that exercising gives me a super mental boost. When I’m sitting at a desk or laying in bed, all I think about is how crappy I feel. But when I have something else to focus on — like trying not to bite it when I run up and down on my step (yes, we use steps, early-90s aerobics-style) — makes me temporarily forget about the fact that I’m sick.

I got through the class fine, and survived the subway ride home — only to discover my fever had climbed to 102 degrees. Yay!

Also, this happened:

Today was Tyler's due date! Instead, he's two weeks old and HE CAN ALREADY TYPE LETTERS. So advanced, that tiny human.

His cuteness blows my mind.

Then Brian and I “celebrated” our anniversary by exchanging gifts and watching missed episodes of “Mad Men” and “30 Rock.”

As for gifts?

I gave him a card and a piece of pineapple cheesecake.

He got me (well, us, since we live together and whatnot) a juicer.

A friggin’ juicer.

As always, Brian wins when it comes to gifts. I got second place, though.

So kickass. And I’ve had three juices since last night.

I drink them in wine glasses so I feel fancy.

But this post is not intended to be about how I sweat through both a sweatshirt and all the sheets last night, nor is my plan to write about how the things happening in the bathroom these days are downright scary.

Instead, I want to talk to you about how you should embrace summer running. Remember when we talked about winter running a few months ago? Well now the temperatures are climbing, so you should strip down and hit the steamy roads. Here’s why…

1. You will wake up early to run before the sun rises — and then you have the entire weekend ahead of you. In the summer months, particularly if I’m training for something (ahem, New York City Marathon), I’ll usually wake up around 5 AM in order to get my long run in. So if I’m out the door at 6:00, I’m done running by 9 AM. I still have so much time to play! Plus naptime! It’s not like in the winter where you wait around for the ice to melt and the temperature to climb. No no. Get up, run hard, and the day has barely started. It’s brilliant.

2. Two words: Cold shower. When it’s hot outside and you’ve sweat through your clothing, nothing is better than peeling off that sports bra (sometimes it takes a while and a significant, never graceful effort) and hopping into a chilly shower. It’s so refreshing.

"Oh gosh, I'm just so hot and sleepy!" (This was taken after a 4-mile run down Summer Streets last year. Pretty sure I was slightly exaggerating my emotions for a photo.)

3. The Central Park water fountains are on! I don’t know what the deal is with hydration beyond the confines of NYC, but here in the city, the water fountains in the park get hijacked as soon as mid-fall. So all throughout the winter, you’re at a loss when thirst kicks in — or you have to carry your own, and yes, Camelbaks are very sexy. I love heading out for a summer run knowing there are hydration stations all over the place.

4. It’s not shockingly dark outside. You want to run at 6 AM? Or 8 PM? Either way, you’ve got daylight working in your favor. Sweet. Also, safe.

5. Fewer layers! Less laundry! This is probably my favorite thing. I love being able to just go outside wearing sneakers, thin little socks, short shorts and a tank top. And also a sports bra. And a Garmin. And sometimes a headband. In the winter, you have to pile that stuff on, but in the summer running just feels lighter. And I don’t go through my workout clothes nearly as quickly.

Super hot at the Fairfield Half Marathon = running in minimal clothing.

6. Summer rain! I love summer rain showers. They’re fun to run in, plus they’re refreshing and stuff. Just, you know, use extra BodyGlide or whatever.

Last year, I ran 16 miles the morning Hurricane Irene came to town. Central Park had this crazy awesome energy with athletes trying to beat the storm.

7. Training in tough temperatures will make you stronger. Right? I mean, be smart about it and don’t be a cocky jerk, but you never know what race day will be like (Hey there, Boston Marathon 2012), so learning to train in all conditions is crucial.

The day of last year's Mini 10K was something like 98% humidity. So awesome. So much fun. So many lies.

8. Your friends are more likely to join you for a run. In the winter, getting people to meet me at 6:15 was a slight challenge (except Kelly, she’s always game for an extra-early wakeup). But in the summer? Pretty much everyone is on board — even the ones who claim “not to be morning people.”

One of my favorite pictures with so many of my favorite people.

9. The sweat. Yes, I still sweat plenty when I run in the winter. But there’s something to be said about returning from a run completely drenched, which happens after nearly every summer run, whether it’s long, short, fast or slow. It’s satisfying. It makes me feel like I’ve worked hard. It’s fulfilling.

10. Who cares about the weather — you can run! Remember that. Whether it’s hot, cold, raining, sleeting, hurricane-ing or just downright beautiful outside, remember that you can run, so you should.

Sweaty. Happy. Summer running is cool.

There you have it! Ten very legitimate reasons why summer running is fun.

NOW TELL ME: Which do you prefer? Running in heat or running in cold? Also, why?



66 Responses

  1. New to your blog and loving it. This post makes me think I should suck it up and try again to be a runner in the summer even though my body insists I only run in fall, winter, and spring. Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂

  2. Tyler’s note asking you to be his godmother is THE.CUTEST.THING.EVER. EVER!!!

    And Brian is a keeper…a juicer? That is a fantastically fantastic gift.

    I hope you start to feel better soon!

  3. I love this post besides the part about you being sick. Sadz. I love the extra sweat, daylight hours and just awesomeness of summer running. I can’t wait to start training and hopefully have many early a.m. runs with you! Also, the Boathouse bathroom was locked this morning (blast!) and it made me think of you. Take care of yourself, friend!

  4. I’m definitely a winter/early spring runner. My favorite time of year is when the temperatures are still a little chilly but the sun is shining. Both me and my dog seem to get slower and run less miles as the weather gets hotter 🙂

  5. Summer running is infinitely better than winter running! Also, if you guys are into juicing, you should watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” I bought a juicer immediately after watching it. I’m easily persuaded.

  6. Love it! I too ran before Irene hit Long Island, it was a little creepy though as I live by the water, but still kind of cool watching everyone get their miles in. I think I ran 10 if I remember correctly 🙂

  7. Even though I was not a happy camper during the Death Valley marathon (EXCUSE ME, Boston Marathon), I am a Summer runner through and through. And sigh…I will admit…even though I despise waking up early, it’s a good idea to do it in the summer. Today I woke up at 5:50am to go running and I didn’t die. It helped that it was warm-ish and light outside. Remember when we used to run together in CP in the morning? Wah.

  8. I agree, running in the summer = much less laundry, which is why I obviously prefer the summer. Also, less time to get ready for a run, putting on a million layers in the winter time is time consuming!

  9. Personally I prefer winter running because I know I’m faster in the cold, BUT—with that said—I think part of the reason I feel fast in the cold is because of training and running in the heat. I think this is why I like fall races more than spring…because all the summer sweating really seems to pay off. BUT I agree, if you can run—rain, shine, snow, wind—DO IT! I will take any outdoor conditions over a treadmill any day.

  10. I LOVE summer running!! I actually think YOUR posts from last summer made me love it even more. the sweat, the glory, all of it 🙂 And congrats Godmother!!

  11. Hi Ali! I’m a new reader of your blog & a big fan. Love to see that you’re able to run again, and sorry that your Crohn’s is getting in the way!

    I follow another blogger that I love, Communicatrix, and she’s written a bit about her Crohn’s experience and the diet that works for her: http://www.communicatrix.com/scd/

    No idea if this is helpful or not (and maybe you’ve already tried things like this), but wanted to pass it along!

  12. I’ve trained for races in the summer and the winter, and I think both have their pros and cons. I do LOVE the extra daylight in the summer, and of course I love not having freezing snot all over my face (super attractive as it may be).

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Ali!

  13. I love summer running! Something about being drenched in sweat at the end feeling like your really accomplished something. Even if your pace was 1-2 minutes slower than usual.

  14. I don’t mind running on warm summer days. One would think that I’d like running in the winter more because I get pretty hot when I run, but I don’t like winter running because of all the layers of clothes and my hands are always too cold or too hot (with gloves on). I want to start running in the mornings. I trained for the marathon last year doing evening runs, except on the weekends when I did morning runs. It wasn’t bad, but I could never do anything else during the week and I would always be up very late afterwards.
    I’m sorry you’re not feeling great today, but so nice of you to have all these juices to help nourish you. You got a juicer as opposed to the “super blender”, VitaMix, that everyone seems to be talking aout? I think even a VitaMix would be cheaper than a month of juices from Juice Generation.
    I’m so happy Tyler is home. He’s a cutey. How nice that he asked you to be his Godmother.
    On a completely unrelated note, right now I’m freezing in my office’s air conditioning. I would love to be able to go out for a run, especially since it looks like the rain may be over for good for today.

    1. Yes, it’s a juicer — a Breville it’s called I think? Brian is the expert on these things. I’m just along for the drinks 😉

      Also, WHY ARE ALL OFFICES FREEZING IN THE SUMMER? Does the AC need to be completely blasted? Apparently. Stay warm, Linda!

      1. I left work after 7PM and it was still light out. I went for a 2 mile run and I was SOAKED…. As I was dripping sweat everywhere, I thought of you (naturally). 🙂

  15. I’m definitely with you on the summer running! Winter here = rain with a week or two of snow thrown in. And also yeah – it gets dark at 4pm here in the winter. Gross.

  16. I prefer end of summer/beginning of fall running. I’m a “yo-yo” type runner, so after slacking off, eating and drinking too much all summer, it feels great to be active again!
    You’ve inspired me to run my first ever half marathon. It’ll be in September, so I’ll be training during my favorite period!

  17. Way to go, Brian! Oh, you too Ali. 🙂 My favorite weather to run in is light rain, no wind. Of course, I live in Seattle, so it would really suck if sun runs were my fav. Hope you get feeling better soon!

  18. Great post. I just blogged about preparing for the warm weather since it’s my first summer as a runner. This makes me very optimistic about the months ahead.

  19. Just stopping by to say that your posts always always make me smile.
    I agree on all accounts … especially the “you can run, so just do it” Seriously, running is amazing … stop with the excuses. Just run! Hope to see you out there at 6:30 one day!

  20. i think by living in florida, i love running in heat by default 🙂 i like to think that summer running in FL makes up for lack of hills. hope you can get back on the road soon! in the meantime, centerstage? forgetting sarah marshall? mean girls? easy a?

  21. This is awesome! I love summer running! I’m a heavy sweater anyway, so running in the summer heat means that people will understand why I’m a sweaty mess after a run outside in August. “It’s hot…it’s August…thus why this girl is so gross and sweaty. Makes sense.” Unlike the January runs when it’s a bit embarrassing that you’re sweating as much as you do in August. Tiny bit embarrassing – but who cares. They’re not running, I am!

  22. Give me single-digit temps and snow over heat to run in any day! Every single run over 65 degrees, no matter how slow or how short leaves me nauseous, shaking, cold, clammy, and basically feeling like death. My body just doesn’t seem to know how to regulate its temperature in the heat.

  23. I would like year round 50 degree running temperatures! It just started to get super hot here in Phoenix, and it’s my first summer running, so at first I was super angry and cursing about all the sudden being slow and lame, then I realized that a high of 108 will not make me faster 6 months from now, but slower immediately 😉

  24. Ali, you’re inspiring me to be a morning runner! I love running in the spring and fall but it’s harder to motivate myself in the summer. Now that I’m training for the Hamptons Half Marathon, I have no choice but to run all summer. And I’m going to try to do some quality morning runs!!

  25. I do like the less laundry aspect:) Sorry you are feeling yucky. Hope you feel better ASAP! I prefer to run in the 50’s but this past winter I got to liking running in the cold. It doesn’t get too hot here in Seattle so I don’t have to worry about the heat too much.

  26. There is east coast cold, then there is Rocky Mountain Cold (plus winds). I don’t mind the 30-40 degree runs, but the 0-15 degree runs are for the birds. You can’t cover up enough to keep from freezing something on your face.

    As for heat, I used to live in Texas, Florida and Louisiana. It isn’t the heat that bugs me, it is the humidity and the misery that follows.

    Being in Wyoming, the summers still have 40-50 degree mornings, so as long as your up before 9 am, the runs are always bearable. Then it never gets “hot”, just the sun is very intense, so lots of sunblock needed, even for a 45-60 minute run, especially for those who are folliclely challenged.

  27. I find getting up really horrible, but I love running that early, when I manage it. I can’t handle the heat either….but I do love summer running clothes, they are so cute!!!

  28. Summer running is my fave FOR SURE. I love running before work, but only in the summer. There is something so wrong about getting up to run in the winter, when it is freezing and pitch black. Plus, my motivation level is so much higher in the summer… maybe it’s because I know I can’t hide under sweaters OR because I’m training for something cool, like the Chicago Marathon. 🙂

    PS: I love Baby Tyler.

  29. I am all about fall and winter running. I will gladly run in snow storms, on ice and even in hail but as soon as the outdoor temps get above 80 I am scrambling out of bed before dawn to log miles before I melt in the sun. 🙂

  30. Running is pretty new to me (only within the last 10-12 weeks or so) but I did enjoy getting out for walks (and the baby running I did back then – you know 30 seconds here and there) but I am loving the runs so far this spring too. New outfits and stuff. Especially my new I <3 Sweat t-shirt that came yesterday. YIPPEE!

  31. After running in the Seattle frigid rainy crap summers for two years I am SO EXCITED to be moving to CHICAGO to get some real summer heat!!! SO excited to SWEAT!! BRING IT SWEATY RUNS!!!

  32. I may be the weird one here but I really love fall/winter running. I get warm/hot easily and it annoys me (I know, I’m high maintenance haha). I like layering up a bit and feeling comfortable for most of my run. In the depths of the summer, its just a bit too much for me with the sun and the awful NYC humidity. But I’m learning to like it because I don’t have much of a choice 🙂

  33. Yes, I love summer running! Kinda wish it was a bit cooler here in TX though. We could use some of that rain. All the more reason to wake up early and knock it out! 🙂

  34. don’t knock all people who cringe at hot running. i don’t sweat much at all and struggle with my summer runs because of it. I struggle not because they are tough and i’m a whiner but because i have to be extremely careful about overheating. do i run in the summer? hell yes. but i’m constantly monitoring myself and adjusting my goals.

    1. I’m just teasing, you know that 😉 Everyone has their running preferences, and that’s fine. I also agree about being careful about overheating. There’s a difference between being “hardcore” and being “stupid,” so good for you for being smart!

  35. A photo like that with your genius nephew AND a juicer? Despite the flare up, sounds pretty awesome! Hope you’re feeling better!

  36. My first two marathons were overcast and rainy and I LOVED it, because generally I feel like the sun zaps my energy way too fast. (My third was overly sunny in Barcelona…people tried to tell me it wasn’t that hot but I still believe they were LYING ;D) But extra daylight hours?! Win win win!

    And I concur about the less layers = less laundry. Another win!

  37. I pretty much don’t like running ever, but I’m trying really really hard to learn how to love it. I must admit though, that running before the rest of the world wakes up is the best. Your gift exhange totally reminded me of the anniversary that I gave my husband a pillow with a picture from our wedding on it. (yay for giant pictures of our heads to cuddle with every night!) He busted out with a Coach purse. oops.

  38. SUMMER RUNNING ALL THE WAY. Nothing better than a) not having to think “do I need a long sleeve or jacket?” and b) getting super sweaty on some hot, humid summer run. It’s usually light so you don’t have to worry about being raped or killed. Just drink some extra water and slow down a bit if it’s too hot. SUMMER RUNNING IS THE BEST.

  39. I prefer a happy medium…it never went above 70 in the Houston Marathon and I loved it. I definitely got stronger and faster training through the Texas heat last summer, but some of those runs felt like death. And while it was always harder to get out the door during NYC winter, the PRs definitely came more easily since I was trying to stay warm!

  40. Yay for summer running!! Although I think I may die during the run, sitting in the cold shower with the coldest water running over my head and neck is the most refreshing feeling in the world. Also, having one of those firecracker icepops when I get in from a hot run is serioulsy the best!

  41. That picture of you/Megan/Lindsay/Kelly is awesome — I LOVE that you’re all different bright colors.

    Also, I remember meeting you right before you snapped that picture at the mini 10K last year! And by “meeting you,” yes, I mean gasping your name aloud as I spotted you in the fifth (worst) mile of that race. Woo!

  42. Feel better!!

    Summer running is the best. Last summer I completely fell in love with early morning sweaty runs, coming back looking as if you’d showered with your clothes on. SEXEEE.

  43. Fall & spring running are my favorite, but summer is great. I love running at my family’s cabin on a lake because I can run right into the lake at the end. Although, I am hoping it is not TOO hot for my marathon on Sunday.

  44. i would take the death heat of summer to run in ANY DAY! i hate being cold and i hate wearing layers to run..i like the free-ness of running in next to nothing 😉 also just got my I <3 Sweat Tees yesterday! thanks i love it!

  45. I love summer running. It is challenging but I love taking off my running clothes and they are literally heavy with sweat. This may be gross to some; but I think its awesome.

  46. I agree! Running in the summer is fun and I prefer it over winter running any day! It was hard to adjust to the “what to wear” conundrum, but I’d rather pick shorts over sweats. Only downside is when race day is a scorcher like my half over the weekend. I survived, but I saw many people dropping out and a friend of my puked twice! She still finished with a great marathon time! Team Summer Running!

  47. I LOVE summer running. And I don’t run in the winter so summer running is extra special. I love wearing as little as possible and not worrying about layering up and cold hands. In fact, the entire reason I started running in the first place was so I could exercise outside in the summer!

    Also, I am worried about you. I think you should maybe rest when you have a fever. I worry you are making yourself worse.

    1. No need to worry 🙂 My fever is down now, this just always happens in the first week or so of a flare-up. I normally don’t work out when I know I have a fever, but by the time I went into class I felt OK. So don’t worry — I’m resting!

  48. I second all of those thoughts. This post made me really excited to start running once my back heals up.

    Central Park at like 6am in the summer is my favorite place in the world. It’s like a runner/biker/dog party, right?

  49. Ugh, if it’s running, I’m in…winter, spring, summer OR fall! (Sorry for the song break out. Sometimes, it’s necessary.)

    I love running in heat because you feel like you’re really working hard – which sometimes, in the cold, you can forget about while trying to remember you have toes attached to your feet. It’s also just that much more beautiful out; I mean, you’re gonna go outside anyway in the summer, so why not go outside and run?

    As for the winter, I went to college in Michigan. I love snow. I love the cold. I love cute cold snowy running gear. It’s mainly a fashion thing I guess, which is kind of vain, but I’ll take it. I also love that it’s quieter out in the winter and less people to bother you.

    Feel better, and make strawberry banana and spinach juice. Mainly because strawberry and banana is the best combination. And spinach worked for Popeye, right?

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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