Love it or hate it, running in summer can throw up the odd challenge or two. Here are a few things to consider when setting out on your group runs over the warmer months:
Remember the basics
Although most people are aware of what they need to do to stay safe in warmer weather, it’s always worth putting out a reminder on your social media or Whatsapp groups if it’s a particularly warm day. This includes things like:
- Bringing a drink – you could also ask volunteers to stash water around the route or have it available at the end of the run
- Wearing suncream
- Wearing light, loose fitting clothing (a cap and sunglasses are also a good idea)
Watch out for signs of dehydration
Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration and look out for signs of them whilst running. These can include headache, nausea and light headedness. Not sweating is also a sign of dehydration – sweating is crucial to keep you cool; when sweat evaporates from skin it also helps to remove body heat. If that process isn’t happening because you are dehydrated, you could overheat more easily.
If the temperature ramps up it is a good idea to slow the pace down. Aim to run by effort rather than trying to maintain your regular pace. A good speed to aim for is one that allows you to talk in full sentences. As tempting as it may be don’t let a training plan override safety. If you’re not feeling strong, slow down and if you are feeling light headed or dizzy it is probably time to stop.
On sunnier days, consider swapping your usual routes for a shadier route perhaps through a park, woods or trail with tree cover. Off road is often a cooler option and good for getting shelter from the sun. If it’s possible you could try running near water, rivers and lakes which can create cooler, breezier conditions. We’ve known groups go for the odd paddle too!
Run when conditions are coolest
If time allows take advantage of the longer summer days and try where possible to run during the cooler parts of the day. If your group usually runs in the early evening, it might be worth considering setting off an hour or two later on extremely hot days.
Make the most of the summer months and enjoy your running. It’s a great time to explore new routes in the sunshine and more options for socialising and having fun with friends.