Top Five Summer Running Tops

This week's Friday Five linkup theme, hosted by Linkup with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar On The Run, and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What, is Five Ways to Beat the Heat. I know this has been on all of our minds as the heat and humidity have been bad lately, at least here on the East Coast. I loved these tips from ultramarathon champion Pam Reed, who has twice won the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, CA. I look forward to hearing from other bloggers on this topic, but I don't think I can offer anything unique. I'm guessing my strategies--early-morning runs before the sun comes up, carrying a handheld filled with ice and Nuun, wearing a hat when I do run in the sun--are what most runners are doing to beat the heat. You know I'm a fitness clothes junkie though, so my twist on the theme is my picks for fashionable running tops for summer's steamiest days.

1. Lorna Jane Excel Mesh Tanks
I recently placed my first order with Australian-based Lorna Jane and haven't gotten my package yet, so unfortunately I can't offer a performance review of these yet. They sound awesome for running though. The LJ Excel Mesh comes in a few different varieties, and all are designed to keep you cool and dry. LJ has great colors and styles. The two running tanks I ordered during a special promotion last weekend (they are expensive at full price, so watch for promotions!) are:

Dash Excel Tank
 The Force Excel Tank
UPDATE: I received my package with these two tanks and two sports bras. Absolutely love the style, colors, fit, and fabric. However, I didn't realize they are all hand wash. Ugh! Will post a fit review next week.

 2. Lululemon Runner Up Tank
This tank is also made of mesh-type fabric and is very lightweight and airy. It features Lululemon's anti-stink technology and is loose fitting. I bought this several weeks ago but haven't worn it for running yet. When I have it on it feels like I'm wearing nothing, so I think it will be great for running. Also, I love the style of the back. Unfortunately, there are only four colors out now, and two have writing on them (which I don't like). There is also a short-sleeve tee option.


3. Oiselle Hail Mary Mesh Tank
I have been drooling over this tank since it came out a few weeks ago. Oiselle says this tank is designed for "summer's hottest days." It features two layers of Oiselle's mesh and is supposed to be very lightweight and airy. It's on my list to get!

4. Athleta Chi Tank
A multi-purpose tank not just for running, Athleta's Chi Tank manages to be both super soft and extremely lightweight. It's made with unstinkable fabric, comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and comes in an extra-long length (which I like for layering and wearing with leggings). I wear these tanks all the time for running, and they're very comfortable. I just bought one in the newest pattern, dots.

5. Athleta UPF Tops
I wear tanks on my early morning runs while it's still dark, so I don't have to worry about sun protection. But on weekends it's a struggle to get out before the sun comes up, and even when I do the sun comes up while I'm doing long runs. I'm fanatical about sun protection. My skin is in great shape with very few signs of aging, and I want to keep it that way! So when I run in the sun, I choose tops with more coverage and use sunscreen on unexposed skin.

I usually wear the Pacifica UPF Tee, which I have in two colors. The fabric has UPF of 50 and is very lightweight and breathable. It is also made with unstinkable fabric. It's comfortable and has a pocket in the back.
I also have the longsleeve shirt, which I have worn on the rare instances when I run in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest (that has happened only twice this year and only for very short runs.) Even though it has long sleeves, it's so lightweight that any breeze blows right through it, so I don't get overheated. If I had to run in the sun and the heat was stifling, I would try soaking it in cold water before putting it on and heading out for my run. There is a side pocket on the arm of the longsleeve version.

What's your favorite gear for summer running?

See how other bloggers are beating the heat by checking out the linkup!

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