It's a different animal - Guide to running in the summer. by Coach T
British summer is showing itself and with the beautiful weather comes different running conditions and I have some important tips and advice that all runners should remind themselves of, be it that you run a 6-minute mile or a 12-minute mile.
1. Test the water - Acclimatize Well, more test the heat and your body's reaction to the different temperature and how you deal with it. On the first sunny day don't go out with a PB in mind, run to about 65% of your ability and test how you feel, this acclimatizing of the body is important. Your body will adapt over a few weeks and you can help this a little by ensuring you're fully hydrated before the run with provisions with you. A small hydration pack or water will be important on test runs.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate and check out electrolytes! IMPORTANT!
H2O is your friend and your body needs it!! Chugging a pint of water 5 minutes before is only going to lead you to the nearest bush!! I'd suggests at least 16ozs of water 2 hours before a run.
You need to hydrate constantly over an entire day with an aim of 2.5ltr to 3ltrs per day! Running with water is not really needed for runs under 4 miles if you are hydrated well (bear in mind point 1 and acclimatizing)
Don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink. If you're thirsty, that means you're already low on fluids. Also, as you age, your thirst mechanism isn't as efficient and your body may in the early stages of dehydration and you may not even feel thirsty.
Runs over 4 miles during the summer I would never run without water!! Unless you're at a race with water stations I would not run without a small amount of water!! You can get water backpacks, mini water belts or a run bottle.
For the first 45 to 60 minutes, water is fine. After 60 minutes, you'll need to start using a sports drink or supplementing with a sports gel or electrolytes powder, tablets.
After 60 minutes (and sometimes sooner if it's really hot and you sweat a lot), you begin to deplete vital electrolytes (i.e., sodium, potassium, etc.). Sodium is needed in order for your body to absorb the fluids you're ingesting. Ever get that sloshing feeling late in a run?
That's probably because your body is low on sodium and not able to absorb the fluids you're drinking, so it just sits in your stomach and sloshes around not doing you any good.
Depleted potassium levels can increase your chances of experiencing muscle cramps too!
Drink plenty of water after your run!! As a rule of thumb and only a guide id drink 16oz per 45 minutes I had run over a 2 hour period.
3. Run early or late evening Get your runs out the way early and set yourself up for the day! While providing a mega boost to your energy levels it's also cooler than daytime running! Failing that an evening run after 7pm.
4. Apply the suncream Don't be the fool that thinks I'll be ok! Apply it thick and everywhere, protect your skin!! You're running for your wellbeing so why to add a negative to that by not protecting your skin while running!
5. Tell them where you're going! This is a number one rule for all runs and one that should not be neglected!! Let someone know where you're going and roughly how long you're be gone for! A partner, friend or even a neighbor...
It's good for someone to know when you should be back and if that time majorly elapses then they can send out a search party as such!!
A lot of phone apps and watches offer a tracking facility or option.
6. Get technical A simple technical t-shirt can make a huge difference to your runs while helping disperse sweat and allowing the body to stay dry and prevent chaffering. Breathable running gear is a must and available in a variety of brands. Lycra, Nylon, CoolMax, and Dry-Fit
7. Get off road The thought for some a muddy trail run is not an option but summer provides such an abundance of dry fields, tracks and public footpaths for all to enjoy!! Personally, I am an all weather on and off road runner but mixing up your runs and getting off road provides a change of scenery, protection of shade through woodlands and can boost your running strength to no end. The mixed underfoot helps strengthen ankles, muscles and core!
8. Have a plan Plan your run! This is important if you want to go out and explore new routes, tracks with no time restraint then plan for this with supplies of water, food and emergency provisions like a phone!
A 20-minute run to hit a PB along the seafront is straightforward and pretty safe, but a 20-mile exploration of South downs needs more preparation and provisions!
Do you have anything to add?
Let us know and we would gladly get it added to our list to keep runner like you safer.
Enjoy the amazing weather and happy running