Running Hot and Cold

Do you prefer to run in hot or cold weather? If you’re not a runner but partake in some other outdoor activity (cycling, walking, gardening, etc) do you prefer it in hot or cold temperatures? If you don’t do any outside activity, firstly what?? why not? and secondly, okay then, just in general terms tell me if you prefer summer days or winter?

I am most definitely a cold weather runner. I dislike running in the heat intensely. So does my body. I can tell when my body is unhappy with me if I run in the heat because I get pins and needles all over and start to get a bit shivery. Of course, when that happens, I stop running immediately and seek shade and fluids.



Definitely into cool running

So I have to wonder, given my non-preference for summer running, what exactly possessed me to take it up more diligently and enter four races over the peak summer. (Five if you count one at the end of November which is technically spring but given the way the climate is changing and we started having bushfires in September, I think we can probably count that one as a hot weather run.)

Well, for starters, there is a full marathon on the horizon in May so probably some training would be a good idea.

Then, of course, there’s just a bunch of really fun local runs on over the summer. Given most of them are run along coastal trails and a number are run as fundraisers for the local lifesaving clubs, one can only assume they run them in this horrendous season to capitalise on all the out-of-towners flooding the foreshore caravan parks. (PSA: We apologise for the excessive use of the word ‘run’ in this paragraph.)

Quite a lot of running beside the water

I’m sure some of you – particularly those from Northern climes – are wondering why anyone would try and run in 30°C heat. Well, I tend to wonder the same about people who run in sub-zero temperatures. I guess it all comes down to what you grow up in.

Last weekend’s run did make me question my life choices. The Bellarine Sunset Run Half Marathon event is an out and back from Portarlington to St Leonards. It was warm (as it always is) – about 27°C (80F) when the race started at 5.20pm – but worse, there was a massive headwind on the outward leg. According to the Bureau wind gusts reached 50km/h. I wanted to die.

Of course, a headwind on the way out did, after an interminable 10.5km, become a tail wind on the way back. At one particularly windy open stretch of track I reached a pace of 5.55 min/km simply by lifting my feet and letting the wind do the rest.

I guess we can all be grateful the event is not run in reverse.

Race result was better than I was expecting but more importantly there was bling. And cider. Sponsored by a local cider house, the post-race cider is a must.


They always have really cool bling

Sunset Run cider

You have to admit their motto is appropriate for a bunch of mad summer runners

Yes, they’re wearing jumpers (sweaters, jerseys, added warmer layers, you get the idea). This was last year when it was not quite so hot.

The best bit about a sunset run is, naturally, the sunset.


So, there’s still quite a bit of summer left to go so let’s see what other torture I can put myself through before the blessed cool of autumn (which as things stand may not turn up until June…).

And in keeping with recent practice, here’s an earworm. Just replace “loving” with “running”.

“Summer running, had me a blast!”


So, are you running hot or cold?

20 thoughts on “Running Hot and Cold

  1. I don’t run, and the sort of formal exercise that I do do, cycling, really can’t be done in the winter where we live. When it snows or ices, they spread sand on the road. You can’t ride on the road until they sweep that up in the spring. I’ll actually be switching to bike path only riding this year, but the closest one to me is closed in the winter because it’s an eagle nesting ground.

    My wife and I walk (she more than me) and we walk year round, but in the summer, we walk earlier to avoid the heat. Walking makes you warmer, so if you dress right in the winter, you’re good. It’s hard to avoid the heat.

    I do lots of work outside, and I do that mid-spring to mid-fall. I don’t care about the heat.

    If you can run, enjoy running and can find comfortable times/places, then keep on doing it. Whatever you can do to keep moving is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Living in a temperate zone, I’m lucky to be able to exercise outside all year round. Even in the middle of winter the worst you’ll get is a cold and wet. I imagine in your part of the world, home gym equipment must do a roaring trade. On the hot days I really should be up and running early but I’ve become a bit lazy.
      Keeping on moving is the key, isn’t it? I intend to keep running for as long as possible. Even if I get really slow, as long as I can make it across the finish line before the cut off that will be enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done you!!

    Much as I love cider, and even bling, I am a miserable lump of grump in high temperatures — even when stationary.

    Not a runner (snort of laughter even writing this), but I walk and increasingly garden — in the early mornings and evenings. This summer, I’ve become a fan of the siesta. Very sensible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh. A siesta sounds fabulous. I am not a fan of high temperatures in any circumstance really but I have to admit there is something about running beside the water, working hard and earning a coldie and a dip in the ocean at the end.


  3. Bypassing the fact of your insanity, I would remind you that this is Oz in climate change: how can one possibly know when or for how long it’s going to be hot or cold ?! I am currently wearing a winter dressing-gown because it’s around 14 degrees – in FEBRUARY ! – and hope to be able to hang out my washing, later, without having to carry my huge clothes-strewn aluminium horse inside. Two days ago I was cooking dinner in unbearable humidity and dripping sweat into it, disgustingly.
    Go figure. Sighh .. Where was I ,,?
    Oh yes: hot or cold running. Hot or cold anything (like my new Nigella recipe that’s just as good either way).
    Cold. Definitely. So much easier to warm up than to cool down, doncher reckon ?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope I’ve never been a runner, even before I broke my foot. These days I’m a slower than usual walker and I don’t do that on very hot days either. The way the weather is I’d say it’s going to be hot for a lot longer before it starts to cool down.


  5. Ah! Running in the heat is just the kind of thing I’m beginning to worry about! I started doing my local parkrun almost 6 months ago and, once you get going, my temperature is ok.

    On the warmest day I’ve run (it’s autumn / winter where I am), I actually started feeling ill from getting too hot and had to walk a bit because of it.

    Trouble is, I’ve caught “running”, as a bug and entered a 10k, from what I can tell, it just gets worse! You enter and train for longer and longer distances!

    So I’m feeling I’m a cool weather runner and actively worried about how to cope when it warms up. Any advice?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, congratulations on joining your local Parkrun and setting a 10km goal. That’s fantastic! Secondly, yeah the bug thing is true. I took up running just to get fit for a trek in Peru and wasn’t a race person but then a friend challenged me to enter a local half marathon. A couple of years later I decided to run a full marathon for my 50th. Just one, to cross it off the bucket list. I’ve now run three and am training for my fourth. I run half marathons just for fun even when I haven’t trained properly. So, watch out for that! (And am I now wondering about an ultra marathon? Of course. 🙄)
      Finally, warm weather running tips:
      Run early or late in the day if you can.
      Hydration is key. I drink three litres the day before a race (for a marathon it’s for three days prior). For your Parkrun or just day to day running make sure you’re well hydrated the day before and have a good drink before you go out. If you felt unwell last time it may be because of lack of hydration. Adding some electrolytes can also help, especially if it’s very warm.
      Wear clothing that will keep you cool and wicks away the sweat.
      If it’s very hot, forget about pb times and just run for the fitness and run at a pace that feels comfortable. I get really slow when it’s hot but I figure at least I’m out there.

      Hope that helps. Enjoy your running! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much for your reply.

    I’ve seen a couple of references to your “just one” marathon… Ermmm … progressing into multiple events! Good for you, keeping at the running! (I will be back to read those posts, I can assure you! Your experiences are very relatable and I love how you write).

    I will pay close attention to hydration, that would certainly fit with explaining what happened for me. Yes, when it’s warm that makes sense – just run / walk to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me. I love a discussion. I might learn new stuff.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s