Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Running when it's hot

I haven't blogged for a while, but we've been talking quite a bit about running in hot weather.  Of course, by writing this, I am summoning rain!  Some ideas about how to make running in the heat a bit more enjoyable - please do add your own!

Not taking in enough liquid before, during and after your run makes a big difference.  If you feel sluggish or tired - but without any leg ache or your chest tightening, it may indicate dehydration.  Try and drink more before you run - but I find little & often is more comfortable than downing a pint of water just before running!
Drinking on the run can give you a real boost - especially for longer distances.  Look out for loop shaped water bottles - and some of us have been trying dinky little wrist band water bottles.  Alternatively, stick a couple of pounds in a pocket so you can buy some more liquid en route.
Do drink as soon as you can afterwards - and stay off the alcohol until you're sure you've replenished your body's liquid levels!

A cap or visor can help to keep the sun off your face.  Big sunglasses also help to keep flies and grit out of your eyes - but look out for lighter tints so that you can still see in the shade!
Some runners prefer loose cotton t-shirts - I prefer technical wicking fabrics in the heat that supposedly wick moisture away from your body.
Shorts are fabulous - but if your route has nettles/brambles, capris can be a good compromise!

A must!  Look for "sweat proof" on the label.  Lip balm with SPF can be good too.  Many running tops have cut away arms - don't forget to apply sunscreen to exposed bits on your shoulders and back.

If you can, choose to run when it's cooler and avoid the "mad dogs and english men" midday sun. Early mornings and evenings can be more pleasant.

Routes - choose shade!
I love routes through woodland in blazing sunshine - and I'll opt for the shady side of the road where I can.  If it's extremely hot, take it easy - don't push yourself on speed and simply give yourself a pat on the back for getting off the sofa!

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