Keeping Cool in Summer

With the hot summer weather even our easy runs become tough with the high humidity and scorching sun (especially if you’re mad enough to run in the middle of the day). Here are a few tips to keep cool in summer.

Run smart!

Choose your running time wisely. In the middle of summer head out early in the morning or late afternoon when you’re out of the sun and hopefully catch a sea breeze or afternoon change. Or dare i say it head inside to the gym for a treadmill run if you can stand the monotony to avoid running in 30 degree plus weather.

Unless you’re training for events at extreme conditions training in the heat won’t improve performance. In fact it can reduce the training effects as your body uses valuable energy (& fluids) attempting to stay cool and your training efforts will be reduced. Also training in extreme conditions can require longer recovery times, affecting your next training session and snow balling.

Stay hydrated

Of course this is an obvious one, but what is the best way? Drinking too much immediately before a run can lead to cramps and stitches so drink regularly throughout your day. Whether through exercise, the hot weather or even as we sleep in the hot nights we gradually lose fluids from our body so make sure you keep a few bottles of water in the fridge and reach for a drink regularly to keep you cool and your body hydrated for when you do head out for a run.

Rehydrate after exercise

Replace the fluids lost during exercise quickly once you’ve finished. Whether it is water or sports drinks, we should be aiming to replace 250-500ml for every 30mins of moderate-intense exercise. While the electrolytes in sports drinks will help quicker reabsorbtion of fluids, water is still fine

For events or training longer than 90mins it is important to have some energy, so sports drinks become more important or you should look at using energy gels, bars or simple snacks you can eat on the run such as snakes or other lollies high in sugar.

Stay out of the sun

We all know to slip slop slap and the same goes for long runs. Either run smart in the morning or evening, or make sure you wear a hat sunscreen and appropriate clothing. I’d avoid the long blacks on hot summer days!

Also stay out of the sun post run as the direct sunlight will continue to remove fluids from your body and sunburn will lead to even bigger fluid losses and put you at risk or heat stress and eventually heat stroke.

Enjoy the summer!

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