Staying motivated during the Summer can be difficult when the temperatures rise or you're away on holiday, so we've come up with some top tips to help you remain on track!
Running in the heat
Whether you're out for the occasional run, training for an event or it's race day, it’s important that you’re looking after yourself when running in the heat. Summer running can be a pleasant experience however, it is important to prepare yourself properly to avoid overdoing or exhausting yourself.
Adjust your runs
Try to adjust your running times so you are able to run during times of the day where the temperature is lower e.g., morning or evening. This avoids running during midday when the temperature is likely to be at its highest. If you plan to run midday, try and plan for shady routes to keep you cool and keep it short of these runs!
Clothing is important
Wear light-coloured, thin kit! Anything too dark will attract the sun and you don’t want to be running around with a thick t-shirt on during a hot day. Light synthetic clothing that is breathable and quick drying will allow you to enjoy your running. Cotton clothing traps heat and can absorb your sweat, carrying around that extra weight and nobody wants that! Make sure you have a cap or visor to keep the sun and sweat off your face and prevent dehydration. And don’t forget your sun cream!!
Hydration is key!
Staying hydrated during your summer runs is vital, especially if you’re planning one of your longer runs! Use a handheld water bottle or hydration belt to keep you hydrated throughout your run. We lose a lot of our electrolyte stores through our sweat when we run and this increases during the heat so be sure to finish with an electrolyte drink. Ensuring you drink plenty of fluids avoids heat stroke, exhaustion and cramps, the last thing you need when running your half marathon.
Allow yourself time to adapt to running in the heat. It is not an activity that many can go out and do with no preparation. Your body needs time to acclimatise to exercising in the heat and the intensity and length of training must reflect this. Eventually, your heart rate and core temperature will begin to decrease as it adapts, making run in the heat that little bit easier. Something you MUST remember if you're running whilst on holiday is that it's likely to be hotter overseas during the summer so you won't have the time to acclimatise properly - so keep your runs short just to keep your body ticking over.
Listen to your body
Your body will tell you when it’s struggling. It’s important to recognise the danger signs when you’re running in the heat and what you can do to prevent these from happening. Recognise when your body is cramping up due to electrolyte imbalance or dehydration. It’s important to stop, stretch it out and hydrate to prevent this from getting worse. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke is another common danger when exercising in the heat, so listen to your body and recognise signs of dizziness and nausea.
With race day approaching, it's important to prepare your training in the heat well in advance. You will need time for your body to adapt to the temperature and this way you will enjoy the experience much more. Remember; clothing is important, hydration is key and allow time for your body to adjust!
Good luck and stay safe!