Summer running is certainly appealing once those lighter nights arrive and terrain becomes dryer underfoot. Yet hotter days and holiday plans bring fresh tests for runners.
Here are seven tips to keep your training on the boil all summer long:
1. Dress Cool
When running in hot weather, wear clothes that will help you stay cool. Ideally, opt for lightweight garments and select bright colours which reflect the sun’s rays. For maximum comfort, choose technical garments with wicking properties. They draw sweat away from the body, keeping you cooler and dryer.
2. Shield Your Skin
When the sun is up, you may be tempted to show some skin. First, make sure any areas you expose to the sun’s glare are adequately protected. The rush of air may cool you down as you run. But sadly, it can also disguise the signs you’re getting sunburn. So, apply plenty of sunscreen.
Remember, your clothing may move with your stride – ensure any areas bared during motion are protected too.
3. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your fluids up is essential when the temperature rises. However, how much is enough? Too little can leave you parched and faint. Drink too much and you may feel sluggish and bloated. Either extreme can be dangerous – risking dehydration or hyponatremia. So, how do you find the right balance?
Listen to your body and drink to thirst. For safety’s sake, make sure water is available if you need it: either carry a sports bottle, have payment to hand, or run within reach of a public drinking fountain.
4. Change Course
Routes you’ve had to yourself during the cooler months may become crowded in the height of summer – especially if you run through parks, by riversides or on the seafront. However, you can avoid being slowed down by picnickers, hikers and holiday makers. Try timing your runs so they do not clash with any peak periods. Or divert your route around any particularly busy spots.
Also, consider how exposed your route is. Save yourself from unnecessary dehydration and sunburn by including patches of shade. Tree cover and built-up areas can give you relief amongst open fields or sun-kissed streets.
Planning the right route can help you get the most out of your runs.
5. Don Shades
If sunlight has you squinting, you may want to run in sunglasses. However, some shades are better suited for running than others. A secure fit is essential, or you risk them flying off mid-stride.
Sweat is another consideration. For many runners, sweat travels down their forehead into their eyes – causing an unwelcome sting. Yet some sports shades are specially designed to make contact with your brow, blocking this sweat in its path.
For long spells in the sun, lenses with UV protection will also protect your eyes from sun damage. So, check the specification of your specs.
6. Tread Lightly
In the warmer months, the ground is usually dryer underfoot. So, the tread on your trainers is less crucial. Unless you’re tackling technical trails, a standard pair of trainers should cope with most terrains. So, choosing your footwear is simpler.
7. Kick Back
Summer is high-time for holidays, travelling and social occasions. So you may have to juggle training with these seasonal commitments.
Running is a travel-friendly sport, which is one of the reasons it’s such an attractive way of getting active. As long as you pack a pair of trainers, you can explore new destinations whilst clocking the miles. However, staying safe is important. So, if you’re unsure where to run, stick to well-populated areas or ask your hosts or trusted locals for suitable routes.
Alternatively, keep your fitness up by cross-training. You can stay active on holiday by swimming, cycling or hiking – which can all be social activities too. But remember, your holiday is a chance to kick back and relax. A few days away won’t undo your progress. Plus, you can always catch up on training when you get home. So, enjoy yourself with a clear conscience.
Bright Ideas for Summer Running
Combat the summer heat by staying cool, hydrated and protected from the sun. And get the most out of your summer running by avoiding tourist hotspots – or using your runs to sightsee for yourself! Follow these seven tips and your summer running will be a breeze.