6 ways to beat the heat while heading out on a summer run

Jun 22 2023, 11:00 pm

Summer is here, and lots of runners are feeling the heat when they head out for a run. But there are ways to beat the heat; you just have to plan your running routes strategically. Here are six ways to stay cool on your run:

Find shade

Running under direct sun can take a lot out of you, so one of the best ways to beat the heat is to find running routes with a lot of shade. Pacific Spirit Park and the Stanley Park trails come to mind. You can also venture out to the North Shore, where the trail network is vast. Don’t forget to check out the Central Valley Greenway for a shady road run. Parts of it are tree-lined and also runs underneath the Millennium Line, so there’s lots of opportunity to stay covered.

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Run by refreshing spray parks

Who says spray parks are just for kids? Running through a spray park will give runners a nice reprieve from the heat. If you plan your route accordingly, you can hit a bunch of spray parks, wading pools or misting stations on your route, so by the time you dry out, you’ll be ready for another one. Here’s a map of Vancouver’s spray parks to help get you started.

Run along the water

The sea breeze is your friend. While a waterfront route might be pretty exposed to the sun, you could get lucky and get a bit of a breeze to cool you down. The Stanley Park seawall and the West Vancouver seawall are great options. You can park at Park Royal and run from Ambleside to Dundarave Pier and back. You’ll enjoy some beautiful scenery along the way too.

Jeannine Avelino

Stay hydrated with on-route water fountains

Bringing your own hydration is always a good idea on hot days, but you are also likely to run out. Make sure to plan a route with drinkable water sources. Here is a map of water fountains across Vancouver, as well as a map of public washrooms. They’re not just good for when nature calls. Use the sink to splash water on your face, arms and legs or soak up a neck gaiter or wristband to help you keep cool until the next pit stop.

Jump in the water

If you’re running along the water anyway, nothing is stopping you from going in for a dip mid-run or, even better, at the end of it. English Bay or any of the Kitsilano/Point Grey beaches are very popular but don’t forget about rivers and creeks. Lynn Valley has some nice wading areas, like the 30 Foot Pool at Lynn Canyon Park or Lynn Creek via the Sea to Sky Trail at Inter River Park. A bonus: you can run with off-leash dogs in this area of Inter River Park. Basically, figure out where it’s safe to go into the water and plan your route there.

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End with a cold treat

You did it! You got out and ran in the heat; now it’s time to reward yourself. End your run at your favourite ice cream shop, 7-Eleven (free Slurpees on July 11), or any other place with a cold treat that you’re craving. You can also join the Ice Cream and Donut Run Club for an all-levels group run. In the summer, they start and end at an ice cream shop and a donut shop in the fall. It’s the cherry on top of your Sunday long run.

Atsushi Hirao/Shutterstock

Jeannine AvelinoJeannine Avelino

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