How to run in the heat

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by Trail Running staff |

Experts at Cotswold Outdoor and Runners Need with some top tips on pushing your training through this UK heatwave

Many people will be rushing outside to bask in the sun during the heatwave. However, it's important to do so safely so you don’t ruin your enjoyment.

Checking the forecast will help you to prepare and ensure you’re packing the right kit and protection for a day at the beach, a camping trip away, a walk in the countryside or a run in the sun.

While sunglasses and sun cream are a good place to start, there are other things to keep in mind too. Christian Allen, product expert at Runners Need, and Mark Skelton, in-store expert at Cotswold Outdoor, share their advice:

Stay hydrated

When it’s hot outdoors, we’re more prone to sweating, so it is essential to stay hydrated, particularly if you’re running.

Christian said: “If you’re sweating a lot, you’re losing vital fluids and minerals which need to be replenished, or you risk suffering from dehydration, muscle cramping and heat stroke. Hand-held water bottles and soft flasks and bladders that can easily slip into your running vest are a good idea to take with you.

“Also think about using hydration tablets or drinking diluted sports drinks both during and after your run, as these will help you to maintain proper hydration and balance electrolyte levels.

“Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your body and understand your limits. In the hotter weather, your body is under increased stress, so if it is telling you to stop or slow down, listen.”

Think about what you’re wearing

Leaving the house with a cap or a sunhat should be as essential as taking your keys when the sun is shining. They can help to keep you cool and stop your scalp from burning as well as providing some shade for your face.

Some clothing also offers protection from the sun too. Mark said: “UV protective clothing can help reduce the risk of burning. These products are made from a tight weave construction which can block harmful UV rays. They are given a UPF rating (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) which ranges from 15 to 50+. For example, a UPF rating of 25 means it only allows 1/25th of the UV radiation to pass through it.”

Christian adds: “When it comes to running clothing always opt for items made from sweat-wicking, quick-drying and breathable materials. Mesh panels can help with airflow and seamless construction can help to prevent uncomfortable chafing. Try to steer clear of cotton, which can trap the heat and soak up sweat, as well as dark colours which can absorb heat.

“While it might sound counterintuitive, wool layers can also help to keep you cool as they are naturally sweat-wicking, quick-drying and have antibacterial properties, which is perfect for summer running.”

He adds: “Breathable running shoes and technical socks can also help make running in the heat more comfortable as they won’t trap moisture – a common cause of friction that can lead to blisters.”

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