Running on cool nights and refuelling on ice-cream is what summer running is all about. Stay comfortable on the run with our running tips for the season.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The higher the mercury level soars the more you’ll sweat, the more fluid you lose and the more you’ll need to drink to replace lost fluids. When you sweat you lose salts too and these are vital for muscle function so it’s important to hydrate with electrolytes and not just water. Electrolytes feature in isotonic sports drinks, or you can avoid extra calories from sugary carbohydrates if you choose electrolyte tabs, which you simply pop into water.
Heed overheating warning signs
Overheating can be dangerous. Be aware of the warning signs that tell you something is not right. If you feel ill with a headache or dizziness, have hot and cold flushes, feel confused or seem to be over-sweating more than you should be, stop running, find some shade, hydrate and get a lift home.
Always arm yourself with suncream
A summer essential but not an accessory we’re used to taking on runs in the UK. Buy sweat-resistant (labelled water resistant) sprays or creams to make sure it stays put and apply it liberally all over your body to avoid sun damage. The smaller sunblock sticks are great to pop into small pockets in running gear and you’ll be less likely to forget sunscreen if you keep it in there.
Watch for ticks on the trail
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease carried by animals such as mice and deer which live in woodland areas. If you run in forest, woodland or heath areas it’s wise to be cautious of areas of exposed skin where ticks could latch on. The UK Health Security Agency estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. If you love running through longer grasses and getting in the thick of the trail it’s easy to protect yourself by choosing long tights rather than shorts or capris.
Wear cooling gear
Avoiding clammy cotton tees and picking running gear made from technical fabric is even more important in summer when you sweat more. Look for moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics that are designed to stay cool as the temperature rises.
And remember there are also some benefits to running in the heat….
- Build temperature adaptations: The weather isn’t always friendly on race day, but you have to run anyways. By training in adverse weather, you condition your body to adapt and perform (even if the weather isn’t ideal).
- Boost your VO2 max: Running in the heat can have a more positive influence on your VO2 max than training at altitude.
- Improve your exercise economy: It takes a lot of work to run in the heat. When you do, your running economy improves, allowing you to go farther and longer with less energy. You can run at a reduced heart rate at any given pace, and this also lowers your perceived exertion.