As my face grows a deeper shade of red and I slowly stop sweating (an absolute sign I must be dying), my only thought is I wish I had a way to cool down…and a toothpick because you know MacGyver could solve any situation with a toothpick! Time for running hacks!
Hacks get a bad rap as ways to try and cheat the system or get out of doing the hard work.
And sometimes they certainly are, but today we’re talking about the running tricks that will help you get through a variety of weather situations, hacks to save money and tips to make running feel better.
Summer Running Hacks
Checkout my summer running tips for everything I recommend, but here are a few additional hacks you might not yet have tired.
- Ice in your sports bra, ice in a bandana you tie around your neck, dunk a dry fit cloth in ice cold water before you leave and wear it…it stays cool!
- CBD Sports Cream creates a cooling effect, so you could put it on sore muscles
- Fill a bottle half full, lay at a 45 degree angle to freeze overnight and then add water prior to running – this gives you cold water throughout the run rather than just water then a big chunk of ice
- Wrap frozen water bottle with towel and rubber bands to keep it cold longer while you run
- Wearing an ice vest, taking an ice bath or cold shower before your run can help you go longer in the heat by lowering your initial core temperature
Money Saving Running Hacks
I love my running gear, I really do…but I also started running because it was so cheap!
I didn’t need a million things to get going and the truth is that I’m still a saver, so I’m always looking for ways to keep costs down from gear to race day.
These DIY solutions are fabulous ways to save money on running.
- Make your own energy bites for the trail (here are some killer energy bite recipes)
- Make your own electrolyte drink
- Use a tennis ball or rolling pin instead of buying specific Trigger Point balls for that deep massage
- Use gummy bears instead of buying special gels for fuel (you’re missing some electrolytes, but getting the same sugars)
- Beach towels to cover car seats post run (prevents icky sweat and burning bums on leather in the summer and you’ll thank me when you get in the car later)
- Volunteering at many races will get you a discount on future one’s in the series
- Embrace all the free running apps that give you workouts and feedback
- Do all the PT moves I tell you about now to avoid doctor bills later
- Duct tape can be a life saver for covering blisters if you don’t have other options
- Kinesology tape can change the color of your shoes to make a Disney outfit (or any running costume)
Running Gear Hacks
When you do spend money on your gear, it’s time to make it last!!
Every time I buy running shoes I feel a bit shocked at the price, so I want to make sure they fit and work for many miles.
- Shop for running shoes at the end of the day, your feet will be “swollen” mimicking how they’ll feel at the end of a long run
- Change your lacing technique before deciding you need a new pair of shoes
- Trail running shoes work great in the winter for handling snowy runs, no need for adding anything to your shoe or buying anything special
- Chop the feet off of long tube socks to turn them in to running sleeves for cold races (then you can toss them guilt free during the race)
- Freeze a water bottle and use it to roll your foot on to relieve plantar fasciitis or reduce inflammation after a long run
Running Hydration Hacks
Can’t slug down the recommended amount of water during a run? Me either.
Try this instead:
- Pre-hydration does in fact work, so make sure you’re loaded up in advance
- We will often drink more of something lightly sweetened, which is part of why it’s great to carry electrolytes
- Embrace water dense foods like watermelon, cucumbers…anything from this handy little chart!
Wet Weather Running Hacks
Checkout my running in the rain post for tips on gear to buy, but here’s some other DIY!
- Put your phone in a ziploc bag
- Duct tape your running shoes
- Trash compactor bags are more durable and waterproof than trashbags
Cold Weather Running Hacks
When it’s chilly read this to make sure you’re fully prepared to handle running in the cold. Next up some running hacks to keep you going!
- Blow all the water out of your hydration tube after each drink to keep it from freezing
- Instead of buying cleats for traction in the snow, you can insert screws in to your shoes
- Vaseline on the cheeks, nose, etc can help with wind burn or dryness from the cold air
- Use $1 stretchy gloves for the start line so you can toss them if needed without guilt
There are so many other little tips and tricks, I’ve picked up over the years that have become such a standard part of my routine that honestly I don’t even think about them any more!
But hopefully some of these will save you money, time and/or sanity over the miles!
What’s your best hack that could help another runner?
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