Summer running advice with top tips from experts
A hot Easter followed by the sunniest May on record suggests summer 2020 is going to be memorable for more than one reason – it’s going to be a hot one (maybe!). With that in mind, we’ve had a chat with England Athletics’ team of experts to make sure you stay cool this summer while you burn up the road!
Make the right decisions.
Martin Rush, Head of Coaching & Athlete Development at England Athletics
“Yes, I know summer at home can be a little damp (I’m from Cumbria after all), but trust me, we all need to take care of heat management over the next few months. Seriously, done right it can make a massive difference to your running both in terms of enjoyment and performance.
To help you make the right decisions, take a look at our expert advice here on how you too can get a heat management plan in place for a successful summer of running.
A surprising first step..?
Dr Andrew Drake, British Athletics Talent Hub Manager
First of all, let’s get you up to speed with the science behind summer running with these 3 top tips:
- Acclimatise with a hot bath. A 45 minute, 40º bath is highly effective!
- High sodium drinks maintain plasma volume. Competition drinks modified to be hypertonic solutions.
- Pour lots of cold water over yourself too!
Stay Down to earth!
Tom Craggs, Regional Coaching Lead
- A dose of realism. You might leave for a session without an outcome in mind, a finishing time or a goal pace. The reality is that you need to respond to the environment and conditions as they are, not as you wish them to be. You might need to ease your pace back and put your ego in a box. You'll be working harder and burning more energy to run the same pace in hotter conditions. Adjusting your effort will be key to still finishing strong.
- Embrace it. It takes 7-10 days for your body to gradually acclimatise to heat. There are some real benefits to training in warmer weather that can mimic some of these effects .
- Out of sight, out of mind. While wearing a hat or sunglasses won't keep you cool, the psychological effect of keeping the direct sunlight of your eyes can be great!
Dress for success!
Richard Edmonds, Runderwear Co-Founder & CEO
Summer is a great time to run but some runners may come up against the issue of chafing for the first time. Chafing is more likely to happen in the heat as you sweat more. Runderwear is made with technical moisture-wicking, breathable fabric. Even if you sweat excessively in the heat, Runderwear will wick moisture away from your skin to prevent chafing. Our Men’s Long Boxer and Women’s Long Short are particularly popular in the summer as they cover the skin from hip to almost the knee, so are a great option to prevent chafing all the way down the thigh.
Expect a warm glow.
When you’re running, your body burns glycogen which raises your body temperature. It's natural to sweat at this point as it is the body’s way of trying to regulate temperature and stop overheating.
Have a plan.
Emily Diamon, Olympic Medalist
Last year the World Champs took place in the cauldron that is Doha. The main thing to prepare for in the heat of Doha was organisation. I took a lot of SIS Hydration Tablets with me to make sure I stay hydrated both during sessions and in between sessions. I also took a water spray bottle (the sort of one Mrs Hinch uses for cleaning) so that I could cool myself down during sessions. Ice cold towels were crucial for training in the extreme heat!
It's not all doom and gloom...
Research suggests that, done right, training in hot weather will improve your VO2 max. Successful adaption to heat allows more effective delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles with less effort. Which may sound surprising, but think about it; all the major champs all take place in the summer in warmer conditions. The key is clearly about getting heat management right and you too can reap the benefits.
So there you have it! We joined forces with England Athletics, professional coaches and even Olympians to give you the best summer running tips to make this season one to remember!