Running in the heat

Running in the heat
photo by Barry Cornelius, oxonraces.com

Here in the south of England we’ve finally started to have a bit of summer heat and, in the great tradition of the British, no doubt we will start complaining it is too hot!

I love being warm and outside with the sun shinning down but I’m afraid I’m a bit like Goldilocks. It has to be not too cold, not too hot, just right. And I’m more than likely to be sitting in the shade for a picnic.

So, being a warm with a cool breeze type of person I thought I’d share some tips on how to keep cool when running in the heat.

Keep hydrated

That means making sure you drink water before, during and after your run.
I find that ensuring you are well watered before running makes a huge difference and try to make sure I drink enough water during the day. The key to making sure you are adequately hydrated is the toilet test. Your wee should be light straw coloured, too dark and you need more water, too light and you are drinking too much.

Wear sunscreen

Please, please make sure you are well protected in the sun. No one wants to burn or increase their risk of skin cancer.
I prefer factor 30 and make sure all exposed areas are covered. If you want to make sure your sunscreen is cruelty free then try Superdrugs own brand which is BUAV approved and most are marked as vegan. Or, to support Animal Aid, try either of their vegan sunscreens.

Wear less

Try wearing lightweight and light coloured clothing. Short sleeves and vests are good for the top and if you don’t find shorts comfortable then why not try a sports skirt? Most have integrated shorts so you don’t have to worry about exposing yourself and are much more comfortable than the nylon PE skirts you may have had to wear at school.
Try Gore running skorts, Bamboo clothing or even tennis wear.

Run in the coolest parts of the day

Early morning and evening are generally cooler and more pleasant to run in. I’m not much of an early morning runner but I really enjoy my evening club runs during the summer.

Run off road

I can heartily recommend going for an evening run off road, somewhere shady. Your local park might be shady enough but if you have woods or a large common near you that is even better. There is something very special about being out in the countryside, surrounded by lush green foliage and watching the sun set.

Ice cream

Not a necessity but there is something to be said about knowing you have a cooling bowl of ice cream waiting for you at the end of a hot run. My favourite flavour at the moment is Almond Dream mint choc chip. If you haven’t tried non-dairy ice cream yet look out for brands such as Swedish Glace, Almond Dream and Booja-Booja which are all very nice and just as good, if not better, than dairy ice cream. If you can have a rich creamy treat without the cruelty or cholesterol then why wouldn’t you?

Do you have any top tips for running in the heat? I’d love to hear them.

2 Responses to Running in the heat

  1. Great tips, thanks. We went on a 6.5 miler the day before yesterday and it was still really hot even tho we did it between 9and 10 pm. Today is cooler, so we’re going to try a hillier route.

    • Well done on managing 6.5 miles in the heat! I hope your run today was more enjoyable.

      I should be out running at the weekend and I’m quite tempted by a run through the woods or by the canals.

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