The start of summer running in Canada.

This year in Alberta we had a super mild winter. There were only a few days that actually felt like a hard core freeze-your-eye-lashes-off good ol’ Canadian prairie winter. Sure, it got cold and snowed, but it wasn’t as intense as it usually is, making me feel like we didn’t even have winter yet this year! Despite this, the stark transition from winter running to summer running in Canada remains. I’d like to think I’m a summer hot-weather runner and could thrive running on beaches in California all year but I am just not.


I start complaining about hot running weather once the thermometer passes like 15 degrees Celsius. I remember finishing the Banff half marathon a few years ago in +26 degree Celsius weather and feeling like I was going to die of heat stroke. I’m sure if you’re reading this from the southern US or somewhere not in Canada… it sounds ridiculous to think that +15C is hot.


Now you’re thinking, but wait… Kris, didn’t you just complain all winter about treadmill running and having to avoid ice in the sidewalks and the pain and terror of dark winter running in Canada? Yeah, you’re probably right.


I started my run late on Saturday… like AFTERNOON late. It was already crossing my preferred temperature lines, and in a shorts and t-shirt I was hot. HOW DO FLORIDA PEOPLE DO IT? I remember stepping out my front door, expecting that initial chill that you know you will have to endure for the first mile or two before you warm up but there was no chill. No crisp air. It was already hot.


After spending so many months indoors, Canadians typically have a nice pasty skin tone happening. My Scottish and English ancestry really doesn’t help my ability to tan either. I obviously didn’t even think about the necessity of sunscreen on my run so I woke up Monday morning with some sun burns.


When I was doing my leg workout yesterday morning in a tank and shorts at the gym, no less than seven people pointed out that my chest and back were burnt. As if I didn’t realize there was a giant patch of burning skin situated on my upper body.


It would be WAY TOO obvious if I attempted my first spray tan, but I’m really considering it. I am certain I blinded a few people running this weekend with my ghostly legs. I never really get a great tan in the summer because I burn, and it peels, and I typically purchase SPF 90 sunscreen for such occasions. I also have a significant fear that I would somehow mess up the spray tan.


I absolutely LOVE to sunshine and I’m pretty stoked that it’s been above 20C every day for the past few days, but my Canadian body needs a little bit of transition time to go from winter running to summer running. I have a far lower heat tolerance than I thought, so it’s time to get at fixing that! If all of my runs could happen at like 5C that would be great. 😉


What is YOUR perfect running temperature?

Do you find it harder to go from winter to summer running or summer to winter running?


  1. I find the perfect running temperature is from 15C-20C.

    Two years ago I ran the Tely Ten Mile and it was 34C … I actually thought that I was going to die! People were dropping like flies because we just aren’t used to training in that sort of weather in Newfoundland!

    I am going to Punta Cana next week and have some morning runs planned – I can only imagine where the temperature will fall…

  2. Oh man, I am such a wimp when it comes to exercising in hot weather! I love summer so much so I never want to complain, but when it comes to running I definitely favour the cooler temps.

  3. Cannot recommend St. Tropez bronzing Mousse (Sephora). I SUUUUCK at all the at-home stuff but for some reason this stuff has been crazy natural on my (very pasty) skin and very hard to make a mistake other than washing your hands really well. I use twice a week on arms, legs, face and chest and swear by it. Subtle glow, not dark dark.

    1. Oooo! I have tried this before and I couldn’t get my hands clean enough every time so I ended up with very orange hands… maybe I’ll have to try again!

  4. It feels like this year it went from winter to summer over night with no time to adjust! It feels like I was just out running in so many layers and then last week I was dripping with sweat. It’s crazy. It’s definitely hard to run when it’s hot, but I embrace it because I never want to complain about heat and sunshine. And well, when the only times I can run during the week are at lunch, I have no choice but to suck it up!

  5. I don’t mind running in the heat as long as I’m hydrated enough. I always remind myself what it felt like to run in the minus temperatures and I enjoy the feeling of sun on my skin. All that said, this super mild winter we’ve had feels like a trap! Like we still have a blizzard coming or something.

  6. I totally agree. I hate to complain about good weather but it’s not the best for running. This winter the weather was perfection for running, the exact temperature I like to run in.

    I love spray tans. I’ve only gotten on a handful of times but I’m getting one before I head to Las Vegas in a few weeks for sure. I recommend going to one where they airbrush you. That way there’s no fear of messing it up and it ends up looking better too.

  7. Hahahaha all the Ross memes went perfectly with this post!
    I too burnt yesterday while out in the sun, it was great though! First tan lines of the year 🙂
    I prefer to run at a little bit of a higher temperature than 5 and think I will go do some sprints this afternoon when it hits 9 (Dawson Creek, BC). I like not having to layer up as much clothing or fuss with headphones/toques like we all do in the winter.

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