Blackrock A.C. members have been running in hot weather a lot lately. At the time of writing this, it is 21 degrees Celcius with predictions of hotter weather to come.
Because of the heat and humidity, most people would not pick summer as their favourite season for outdoor exercise, running included.
Spring or autumn normally wins there although I am sure a few of us love the winter too! Summer does have a lot going for it though. More daylight before and after work means more time to get outside. What’s more, with all the swimming, gardening, hiking, and ordinarily holidays, it’s easier to be more active in the summer, so your fitness level is higher.
While we encourage the Fit4Life, Juvenile, Junior, Men and Women sections to enjoy themselves and the good weather to continue, it is important to take some extra steps for smoother running during this time.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Prevent dehydration by drinking water before, during and after your run. By doing so, you will also improve your performance in the heat.
2. Plan Your Route
Planning your route ahead of time is a good idea. Avoiding the hottest pathways and openings will help keep your temperature in check and give a more comfortable run. Many Blackrock A.C. members rethink their running routes during hot weather spells. While running routes along Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire, Sandymount and the general coastal areas have a great view, they are not always well sheltered. Alternative considerations may be the likes of inland streets and parks. Cabinteely, Clonkeen and Rockfield Parks are examples of places with good trees and building shelters to help keep you cool.
3. Freeze Isotonic or Water Bottles
Extra cool bottles are great for a refreshing drink during or after your run. Isotonic drinks have the added bonus of getting the carbohydrate into the body as fast as possible.
4. Plenty of Minerals
Alongside the water loss you experience, minerals are also lost during the heat. Eating often and maintaining a well-balanced diet will help maintain your energy levels while you run in the hot weather.
5. Run Mornings and Evenings
Take advantage of the extra daylight hours while also making good use of the cooler periods of the day. By doing so you reduce the risk of heatstroke, sunburn and other related incidents. Not to mention a much more comfortable run.
6. Hat and Shades
Wearing a hat is recommended. Although many anticipate the added sweat an extra item of clothing may bring, a hat will act as an extra shelter from the sun and help keep you cool. Another added bonus for wearing a hat is that it helps keep the sweat out of your eyes. You might also consider wearing sunglasses. Your eyes are important and although a cap may help protect them against the sun, sometimes a little more is needed.
7. Sweat Duct
Not just for hot weather, another top tip for avoiding sweat entering your eyes is to apply a small dab of vaseline on your finger and rub it above your eyebrow to the side of your head. This will act as a duct for your sweat and bring it away from your eyes. The same can be done with Body Glide or similar.
8. Listen to Your Body
Take a break where necessary. If it is too hot don’t be afraid to do so. Too much time spent in the sun may lead to sunstroke. Always listen to your body.
9. Dress the Right Way
Wear shorts and a running t-shirt. Choosing light colours will help deflect the sun too. This may seem obvious but often in the rush to get out, it can be overlooked.
10. Slow it Down
Your regular effort will seem much more difficult in the heat. Prevent yourself from injury and overheating by not pushing too hard.
11. Shorten Your Warm-up
Muscles warm up faster when running in hot weather. Shorten your warm-up to reduce the risk of heat-related injuries.
12. Factor 50
Always wear sun cream in order to protect your skin. Too often runners overlook the importance of applying adequate sun protection and in doing so run the risk of contracting serious skin conditions such as melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
Any other tips? Let us know in the comments below or socials and happy running!! 🙂