If you enjoy running or are looking to get into running, now is the time to dust off your running shoes and take to the streets of England – especially as it’s only hot for a few months of the year. We will soon begrudge the cold weather and the fact it gets dark early.
Running is great fun, it’s good for your cardiovascular health as well as physical health. Your stamina will improve, it can help you get a better night’s sleep and you’ll lose weight (if that’s a goal of yours).
As much as running in hot weather is really good fun, you need to be cautious at the same time. You sweat more when it’s hot and you can burn more easily and although running is good for your health, dehydration and heats stroke isn’t. For this reason, we have put together a guide on 5 essential tips for running in hot weather.
Rule number one of running – make sure you stay hydrated, especially when running in hot weather. When exercising, you want to regularly sip on water to ensure your body is at its optimal hydration level. If not, you won’t perform as well when running and will tire out quickly and if the weather is really hot be at risk of fainting. Try to carry around a 1-litre water bottle with you at all times and plan water stops on your run. If you don’t want to carry around a water bottle with you on your run, you could opt for a hydration backpack as this can carry more water and is more convenient for some people. Outside of running, each day aim for 2-3 litres of water as recommended by the NHS.
Wear the correct clothing
When running you want to ensure you are wearing the correct clothing. Whether you are new to running or enjoy long-distance running, your clothing is very important and contributes to an enjoyable experience. If you are wearing too many layers when running in hot weather, you’ll overheat quickly and won’t perform as well. Aim for lightweight clothing that doesn’t stick to your body – remember you are going to sweat a lot. Choose light colours as this will reflect the heat and avoid black as this absorbs the sun the most. Cotton is a big no as this can cause chafing which on a long run is very unpleasant.
Slow down your pace
A lot of us are competitive and on each run will aim to beat the time we did the run before – I am very guilty of this. On hot days, try to avoid this, there is always another day when you can beat your best time. Slow down your pace in order to get the most out of your run. Running in hot weather will reduce your efficiency, meaning your body has to work harder to produce the same results, this can lead to injuries and make your run a lot more difficult on your body. Try not to feel disheartened if your time is a lot different as the running conditions are a lot different in high temperatures, if it’s really hot, it may be worth reducing the length of your run.
This tip will probably pain a lot of regular runners, however, it’s ok to plan breaks when running in hot weather. When I am running and the weather gets too much for me, I always aim to find a spot of shade for me to recover. You may not be beating your best time or running at the pace of your average runs but the toll the heat can take on your body means it’s working just as hard. If you can find a mini-market with air-conditioning on your run, plan to run past it – you will appreciate that moment of coldness.
Protect yourself from the sun
This may be an obvious one but it goes without saying to wear sun cream. Whether you are running, walking or sunbathing it’s so important to wear suncream to protect your skin. Even if you are going out early morning to avoid the intensity of the sun, it’s still hot on your skin even when it doesn’t feel it. Wear a cap to protect your head and it could be worth purchasing some sun sleeves to protect your arms. The last thing you want to get is sunstroke.
What tips would you suggest when running in hot weather? Which of the tips above do you most agree with? Is there anything that we have missed that you think we should include? Let us know in the comment box below.