Anyone else singing summer running to the tune of “summer lovin’?” No? Just me then.
Saturday saw me run my 44th parkrun, so I’m well on the road to 50 now. I missed a couple of weeks due to bowling and other activities, but I am still on target for 50 by the time I go to Guernsey in September.
parkrun 44 was run in a time of 32:17 and I have to confess that I felt tired in the last 2km and felt quite ill afterwards. If you’re based in the UK, you will know how hot it has been over the last week or so and Saturday was extremely hot, with temperatures reaching 26 degrees by 9am. The hot sunshine shone down in the park, perfect for sunbathing, not so comfortable for running. Greenwich parkrun is also very exposed to the sun in places, so it can be very draining with the sun beating down.
Many people love running in the hot sunshine, but I have always found it difficult. So it was pretty stupid of me to go to parkrun without taking any water with me. It’s really important to stay hydrated in this hot weather and there are steps runners can take to make running in hot weather a little more bearable.
Summer running tips
When it’s hot and humid, running is much harder and the risk of dehydration is increased. This useful article on how to properly hydrate goes into more detail on how much to drink, what to drink and when. Have a read, it’s pretty interesting and listen to your body when running. Dehydration is not fun – I experienced it after a half marathon once, also on a very hot day. Collapsing at the finishing line was not my finest moment.
30 degree days are not the time to go out in heavy black jogging bottoms and heavy coats. It may sound obvious, but I’m always surprised by the number of people wearing heavy clothing to run in during the summer. Wear lightweight clothing in technical materials to wick the sweat from your body and keep you cool. Light colours are better than dark because they don’t absorb so much heat from the sun.
Protect your head
If you don’t want to wear a cap because your head gets too hot, consider wearing a visor to keep the sun off your forehead and to protect your eyes. If you have a shaved head or are bald, try a buff or a cap to protect yourself. And don’t be afraid to dunk some water over your head. It’ll help to cool you down.
I cannot stress this enough. Put sun cream on exposed areas. Take a tiny bottle with you on long runs in your pocket. You don’t want to get burned. It hurts, it increases your chances of skin cancer. Melanoma IS a thing – my dad has had several. It’s not worth the risk. Protect yourself. Some runners wear light sleeves to protect their skin as well.
Listen to your body
Absolutely shattered? Slowing down? Feeling ill? Listen to your body. It’s ok to slow and walk.