Summer - it has a lot going for it, more daylight, sun on the face, beach time, BBQs, ice cream... but from a running perspective it can be a bit tricky. Some runners really struggle with the heat, especially in the UK where a heatwave tends to hit us suddenly, leaving us feeling rather wilted. But fear not, the Runderwear team have put together a few helpful tips to beat the heat!
1. Keep a 'steady-state' of hydration.
Don't down a pint of water just before you head off on a run - you'll just need the toilet within minutes! Instead, throughout the summer months, ensure you keep yourself constantly hydrated. Here's what the Training Peaks website suggests for hydration:
- Every day: Each day, drink the equivalent in ounces of half your body weight in pounds. For instance, a 150-pound runner (68kg) would aim for 75 ounces of water (2.2 litres) each day. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated when your urine is pale yellow; if it’s dark yellow or the colour of apple juice, you’re dehydrated.
- Before you go: Have eight to 16 ounces (up to 250-500ml) of fluid one to two hours before a run.
- On the road: When you’re out for more than an hour, aim for 14 to 20 ounces (400-600ml) of fluid per hour.
- After you’re done: Drink eight to 24 ounces (250-700ml) of fluids to rehydrate when you return
2. Wear clothing that wicks sweat away from your body.
There have been incredible advances in garment tech over the last few years and it's no longer just a case of wearing loose-fitting cotton in the heat. Instead, opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking technical fabrics.
Chafing is more likely to happen in the heat as you sweat more. All Runderwear clothing is chafe-free, ensuring that excess moisture is wicked away to allow you to run in comfort. The Men’s Long Boxer and Women’s Long Short covers the skin from hip to almost the knee so is a great option to prevent chafing all the way down the thigh.
3. Run at dusk or dawn.
Avoid the midday sun if possible by running early or later in the day. The thought of setting an early morning alarm may not sound appealing, but there really is nothing like running just as the sun's coming up or going down.
4. Don't forget the sun-screen!
Easily done, especially in the UK where hot, sunny days are something of a rarity! As everyone knows, you can still burn even when it's cloudy so make sure you apply a layer of sun cream before heading out.
5. Accessories up.
Wearing a cap or visor and sunglasses will all help to protect you from the sun's rays.
6. Slow Down
Don’t do a higher-intensity run or a long run during the heat of the day. As a general rule, start your workout slower than you usually do. If you’re feeling good halfway through, feel free to push on but listen to your body.
7. Listen to your body, take breaks in the shade if required.
The effects of heat exhaustion, hyperthermia or dehydration can come on very quickly, so if you start feeling light-headed, dizzy, headachy or have a tingling in your limbs, stop immediately, have a drink and a rest in the shade and call for help on your phone.
8. Carry fluid with you.
Get yourself a hand-held running drink bottle or hydration bladder and sip as you go. The Runderwear TPU bottle is perfect for summer running and is available in 3 sizes.
The average person sweats between 0.8-1.4 litres of fluid every hour, with this increasing the hotter the conditions. Ensure your drink is suitably restorative and has the right balance of electrolytes, sodium and key minerals to replace those you lose.
Remember, drinking too much water can be just as bad for you as not drinking enough and may result in hyponatremia.
If you really don't want to carry water with you, find a loop with somewhere you can keep your water bottle, returning for a drink at every lap.
9. Choose a route in advance and let someone know where you're going.
Everyone likes to explore whilst out in the great outdoors but going off the beaten track on a very hot day is not a good idea. You can only carry enough fluid to last you a limited amount of time, so getting lost under the summer sun is not advisable.
Therefore, plan your route in advance so you know exactly how far and where you will be going. Take your phone with you so you can consult Google Maps if needed or, if it comes to it, call for a ride home.
Let someone know where you're going and what time you intend on being back, so they can raise the alarm if anything happens.
10. Check the weather forecast!
It sounds simple but check the weather forecast to see what's going to happen that day. Many a runner has been caught out after heading out the door under grey clouds, only for the skies to clear and the sun to appear overhead. The forecast should also tell you about pollen levels if you need to take an anti-histamine and the UV levels for the day for sun-screen application.