Every summer I write at least one post focused on hot weather running. I consider myself to be fairly experienced on the topic and capable of running well in the heat. This last week on the East Coast was scorching! For most of the week, the temperatures were in the mid-90's and the humidity was up there too.
I'm not an early riser so getting up at 5:00 am to run wasn't going to work for me. And if I run later at night, I tend to have problems falling asleep. Hence, I adjusted my running plans accordingly. My M,W, F noon runs with a speed workout on Wednesday were modified to two easier runs on Monday and Friday along the Connecticut River and I bagged the speed workout. I still ran the same Wednesday course only 1.75 minutes slower per mile. There are water fountains on this course so we can hydrate in route. With the shade, slight breeze, and water, it made for an okay week of training in spite of the conditions. I don't have a gym membership and hate treadmills so things worked out well.
Sometimes on days like these I'll carry water with me. I'm used to doing it, but I know others don't like to do so. That's why finding a course with water fountains along the way is so beneficial. Also, I often wear a light colored cap and slap on some suntan lotion for good measure. After running, I'll cool down with a short walk in the park across from my office. There are plenty of large trees, which shade the area. I also make a point to drink plenty of water throughout the morning before my noon runs. This really helps because it's so easy to get dehydrated on hot days. After a cool shower in the basement of my building, I head upstairs to finish the day's work, refreshed, but still moist from my lunch excursion.
Don't underestimate the conditions in the summer and be smart about training through these hotter periods. It's okay to take things down a notch. You won't lose any conditioning and perhaps with the rest, you'll run even better the following week.