Putting a singlet on and running in the sunshine can be a great way to top up your tan. However, the initial euphoria of imagining you’re Jennifer Aniston or Matthew McConaughey running alongside Venice Beach soon fades as you realise that running in hot weather is actually really difficult! Here are a few tips from your favourite teachers to help avoid any schoolboy errors when running on hot days and holidays.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
Drink about 400-500ml of water between one and two hours before setting out on your run to make sure you start off with good fluid levels. With this in mind, it’s not a good idea to try and run off a sangria hangover whilst your head and stomach are still reminding you how dehydrated you are. During your run drink little and often, using these tips from my Marathon Nutrition Mission blog. Your Biology teacher would recommend sports drinks over water during and after your run as they will replace the electrolytes you will have lost through sweat.
Head For The Trails
Trails are usually shaded by trees and concrete tends to retain heat so your Physics Teacher would tell you you’re going to have a cooler run on the trails. Also, trees are brilliant and you might see some rabbits.
Become An Early Bird. Or A Night Owl.
The sun rises into the middle of the sky and your Maths teacher would tell you that due to the angle of the sunlight there is less shade. Therefore you should avoid the hottest temperatures and run when the sun is rising or setting. Your Music teacher would tell you that Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. (They would extend these hours to avoid to 12-3pm.)
Lower Your Expectations
This year’s Commonwealth Games marathons were won in times five minutes (men’s) and six minutes (women’s) slower than they were in 2014. This is because the Gold Coast is much hotter than Glasgow – you don’t need me, or your Geography teacher, to tell you that! Therefore don’t expect to run as well as you would in cooler weather. Judge your runs on effort and you’ll soon find your times decreasing and your distances increasing when the weather cools again.
Your Textiles/Home Ec teacher will tell you that loose fitting clothing will keep you cooler. Lighter colours will reflect the sun’s rays, so you’d have to be a very dedicated emo to wear skinny fitting black!
The Sun Kills!
So protect yourself from it. Invest in some sports sunscreen which will withstand your sweatiness and don’t forget to protect your eyes – either with some sunglasses or cap or visor. Your mother has probably taught you this countless times!
Sports drinks are better than water when hydrating during and after your run
Running on trails will keep you cooler than urban running
You will run about 20 seconds slower per mile for every 5 degrees above 60 degrees fahrenheit, so expect to be a minute slower if it’s 80 degrees
Drink 400-500ml of water 1-2 hours before your run, then drink little and often during the run
Avoid running between 12noon and 3pm, where possible. Run as the sun rises or sets if you can
Wear loose, light coloured clothing, sports sunscreen and something to protect your eyes