Running is a straightforward sport….isn’t it?
Sure all we really need is a pair of runners, fitness gear and off we go!
Especially in the summer, brighter days, warmer weather, so much easier to just lace up your running shoes and head out the door!
While this is true we do need to adapt to the changing seasons to ensure there are no ‘bumps’ on the road.
I won’t lie, I have learned the hard way with a few of these from runner’s rash to overheating! I have a pretty long list of rookie mistakes in my back pocket!
So, after learning from my mistakes, I have put together my 10 top tips to help set you up for a seamless summer of running.
1. DO NOT OVER DRESS!
No matter how chilly you may feel before your run, you will always, I repeat ALWAYS, get too warm after about 10 minutes into your run if you overdress. Then you have the dilemma of delayering and wrapping a jacket around your waist or finding somewhere to hide it to pick up later. Then there’s the last resort of stuffing one of your layers into your running pants! Also, as well as lightweight tops, it’s a good idea to wear light coloured tops so you don’t attract too much heat from the sun!
2. WEAR LIGHTER SOCKS
It’s a good idea to wear lighter socks in the warmer months. If your feet heat up it’s hard to stay cool so reduce the padded running socks to a more streamlined version. Make sure you test them out on a shorter run or walk first.
3. UP YOUR HYDRATION
I like to keep track of my water intake in general. I’m a ‘list’ person so ticking off each 500ml gives me great satisfaction. I aim for 3 litres per day, although it doesn’t always happen. If you are planning a longer run consider a water stop along your route by lapping past your house, a friend’s or family member’s house. I don’t recommend carrying a water bottle in your hand, it can really affect a balanced arm swing. A water bottle belt is a good idea though. One way to tackle a dry mouth on your runs is to keep your mouth closed as much as possible and nasal breath. You might want to discuss this with your running buddies in case they think you’re just being rude!!
4. PRE-RUN LOOSEN OUT AND WARM UP WELL/ POST-RUN COOLDOWN AND STRETCH
It might be warmer outside at this time of the year, but your muscles don’t necessarily know that! So loosen out and warm up well before every run. I usually do this at home beforehand rather than on the side of the road. Always cool down, walk and stretch after your run. A bucket of cold water at the ready at home is a great post run tonic for your feet. Also lying down on your back with your legs elevated against a wall afterwards is a lovely way to lighten your post run legs.
5. WEAR SUNBLOCK AND CONSIDER WEARING A RUNNING CAP/VISOR
A cap or visor will keep sweat out of your eyes and double up to protect you from the sun. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your arms, legs, EARS, and the back of your neck. I wear sunscreen even on cloudy days.
6. WEAR SPORTS SUNGLASSES
They protect your eyes two-fold, the glare of the sun and possible insect-attack on hazy summer days! I have had the misfortune to get belted in the eye by some kind of flying creature one summer. It took me about 10 minutes to see straight after it. Oh what fun memories! You have been warned!
7. SLATHER IT ON!
Glide or vaseline are truly a runner’s best friend for the long summer runs. Slather it on wherever you feel you may need it. The back of your upper arms, tips of your toes, the seams of your running gear, the inner thighs, the list is endless. Be warned otherwise post-run showers can be a scary place! Once upon a time I nearly broke through the shower door thinking I was being attacked by a swarm of wasps. True story!
8. ADAPT YOUR TRAINING PLAN
Accept that your training may need to be adapted in warmer weather. Go out easy on warmer, more humid days. The body has to work harder in warmer weather so give yourself the chance to regulate your breathing and adapt to the heat. Try not to focus too much on your pace on your regular runs. If interval training is part of your summer running plans then be conscious of adapting your pace if it’s a particularly hot day. Also be open to cutting back the distance on an occasional run. There is no shame in being sensible and thinking of the long game. This ties in with no.10.
9. CHOOSE YOUR TIME CAREFULLY
Run early or late while we have the choice of lots of bright AMs and PMs. Avoid midday to 2pm running if possible. A good option is to find a shaded route, or at least partially shaded. If you are a lunch time runner then take special note of No.3
10. MONITOR YOUR HEART RATE
Finally, keep an eye on your heart rate. If you don’t have a heart monitor just allow common sense to prevail. If you feel under pressure, pull back the pace or walk for a while. This ties in with your pace and your breathing. Your summer pace may need to be a little more controlled than other seasons. Focus on a breathing rhythm that works for you and if it gets erratic or you get too breathless then ease off and monitor your heart rate. Give yourself a chance to gather yourself with slow, deep, calm breaths in through the nose down to the bottom of your ribcage. We want our diaphragms to do the breathing for us. Relax your shoulders with each exhale. You can pick up the pace when you feel you are back in control
That’s it guys. The most important thing is to run well, feel well, enjoy and appreciate the fact that you get to run and have a fun in the sun!
SUMMER RUNNING let’s go!
#summerrunning #runningcoach #runningtips