Running in the heat - how to stay safe and enjoy running in the sun

In recent weeks the UK's temperatures have hit highs of over 30 degrees and as lovely as this sunshine is, it's difficult to exercise in a safe and enjoyable way in these temperatures, but guess what it is possible! 

Whilst it's true hot temperatures can affect your performance, this doesn't mean you should avoid running completely, or head for the safety of the air conditioned gym. Instead, you should be prepared and adjust your mindset and goals.

Let's remember, rule number 1, you know your body and how you deal with heat. Running in extreme heat isn't for everyone, which is why, even though I enjoy it, it comes with a warning. You have got to be sensible, hydrated, and adjust expectations accordingly. 

  1. Don’t be a hero!
    It may sound silly but accepting the heat, starting off slower and keeping your run steady is ok. Take walk breaks, water breaks and adapt your training or race plans accordingly. Adjusting your planned sessions is ok, and walking warm up/cool downs is ok. Don’t feel guilty, remember you are being sensible.
  1. Plan ahead:

Plan the time you run, you may want to set an early alarm and run before it gets hot, or if you prefer to run later in the evening. Adapt your route and head to shaded/flatter areas. Plan ahead and swap your normal routes, it may be an excuse to mix it up…

  1. Head to the trails!

Roads retain heat and radiate it back onto your body making your run harder! Head to grassy tracks and find some shade on the nearby trails. It is an excuse to explore new areas, you may be surprised by what you find! Just make sure you have water and a mobile phone with you! 

  1. Chase the sunrises and sunsets!

Not only is it a more sensible time to run, it is also a wonderful reward for setting that early morning alarm, you will start or end your day on a high! Getting outdoors in nature also has a huge positive impact on your mental health.

  1. Fuel and hydrate appropriately:

If you are planning on running early in the morning make sure you have hydrated and eaten accordingly, if you are pushed for time a gel will be useful or take a hydration vest/running water bottle to know you have water on you at all times. 

I absolutely love my Salomon Running Hydration Vest, it’s very light weight and breathable with the capacity of 1 litre of water to take on your run adventures with you.

6. Dress for the heat:

Wear minimal/ loose breathable clothing; wear short shorts, wear the sports bra, and rock them with a big sweaty smile! Sunglasses to protect your eyes, I don't leave the house without my Sun God sunglasses! A cap is great for keeping the sun off your face too! 

  1. Don't forget the sunscreen!

You may think sunscreen will block your pores and may not seem appealing but it is insanely important, even in the early morning or evening sun. There are so many sweat-proof sun creams on the market now! Make sure you get at least factor 30 and apply generously. I am enjoying using the Pre Max performance sunscreen.

  1. Have a post run plan:

Make sure you rehydrate after your run, electrolytes will be an amazing way of replenishing those salts from sweating. Have some ice lollies in the freezer ready to refresh, and take a cold shower/bath to cool off!

Running in the sun doesn't need to be avoided, it’s actually a great way to train and professional athletes use it as a method of training. So just be sensible, be prepared and have fun in the sun!


 Written by Amy Rosanna @amyrosannaruns

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