How can you ensure you run safely this Summer?
Dress appropriately – Loose-fitting clothes help take advantage of any breeze. Investigate techno fabrics which allow sweat to pass through them and evaporate, keeping your core temperature lower. Use sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen. A visor to protect your face is a good idea but not a tight-fitting hat because the head is where we lose the most heat.
Choose the right time – Avoid midday and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. If you’re training in a city, air quality is best in the morning. Try to choose a route which provides a lot of shade.
Keep hydrated – Hydrate well about two hours before a run, even if you don’t feel thirsty. For shorter runs which are less than 45 minutes, drink water throughout. For longer runs use drinks which help maintain electrolyte levels.
Start slower, stop sooner – Start your run a bit slower than usual. Know when to stop, because heat-induced illness is serious. Signs to watch for are headaches, confusion, loss of muscle control, hot and cold flushes, clammy skin and an upset stomach. If you experience any of these, seek shade, a drink and transport home.
Use waterways – If possible try to choose a route that passes near water because it’s usually cooler and breezier which will help keep your core temperature down. You can make use of rivers, streams, a lake or the sea. If you can finish your run with a brief swim it’s a great way to cool down quickly.
By Tracey Anderson