How to run safely in hot weather
Run comfortably through the hot weather by following this advice.
Summer running can make you feel good,’ says GB Sports Performance Coach Kim Ingleby (energisedperformance.com). ‘Not only is sunlight a fantastic source of vitamin D, which helps build healthy bones and teeth, it can also raise levels of the happy hormone seratonin.’ Here’s how to prepare your body to handle some of the problems you might face when running in hot weather.
Summer setback: dehydration
‘When you’re training, hydration is vital to improve your performance and recovery,’ says Ingleby. According to a British study, losing weight through sweating can diminish performance. And cramps can begin when your core temperature rises only a few degrees above normal.
Solution: drink the right amount
‘Your aim is to drink 0.033 litres of fluid per kilogram of body weight,’ explains Ingleby. ‘So if you weigh 60 kilograms, you need to drink two litres a day, plus an extra 500ml for every 60 to 90 minutes of exercise.’
Summer setback: sunburn
'It’s important to protect yourself, even if you’re running early morning or it’s cloudy,’ says Ingleby. One study found more abnormal moles in marathoners than non-marathoners and that only 56 per cent of runners wore sunscreen regularly.
Solution: block it out
Wear a waterproof SPF30 sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection (for both UVA and UVB rays). ‘Pay attention to the backs of your knees, shoulders and neck and apply a higher factor on your face,’ says Ingleby. If you’re worried about any moles, get them checked by your GP or at the Mole Clinic (themoleclinic.co.uk).
Summer setback: hayfever
Around 25 per cent of the population suffers from hayfever symptoms, such as an itchy throat and wheezing. Since runners breathe harder and faster than less active people, this can affect your breathing and have a negative effect on performance.
Solution: up your resistance
‘Speak to your doctor about taking antihistamines early in the season to build up your resistance,’ says Ingleby. ‘Avoid running in the evening, when pollen begins to settle. Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the pollen and shower after your training to help remove excess pollen.’
Summer setback: chafing
‘Sweating’s a good thing – it means you’re working hard and getting fitter each session. However, it can cause chafing, where your skin gets irritated when your clothing rubs against it, or your skin rubs against another area of skin. ‘Common chafing sites are the inner thighs, the side of your chest or armpits, or under the breasts,’ says Ingleby.
Solution: lube up
‘It’s always better to catch chafing before it happens,’ advises Ingleby. ‘Wear a well-fitted sports bra and breathable sports kit that clings tightly to your skin. You could also try rubbing petroleum jelly on the affected areas to form a protective barrier.'
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