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Surprisingly, summer has actually kicked in over here in the UK and it is hot, hot, hot right now! This is fantastic news for my pale, milk bottle legs but not so much for running improvement.
Over the winter I discussed:
Back in April I had Neil from This Dad Does share a fab guest post about Running with a buggy in the summer and now I am up and running after my injury I thought I would share my summer running essential tips and tricks to keep you healthy and progressing through the summer months.
Dealing with Chaffing
Chaffing is a nightmare and although you can get it all year round, it is more prominent in the winter because you are much hotter and more sweaty. For me, my problem areas are my thighs and upper arms because I am packing a little more potential muscle (fat) around these areas at the moment and this can be a nightmare and really painful.
Products like vaseline and baby powder can help pre-run and using sudocream can help heal any chafe marks that you have but the way I tend to deal with it is more preventative. I wear longer, tighter shorts (mid-thigh) to avoid the material bunching which can also cause chaffing. I also chose to wear t-shirts or cotton fabrics for longer runs as these tend to chaff less but that is a personal preference. If you find a specific are is chaffing more than others it will generally be because of bare skin touching so aim to cover at least one of them up and usually I find this works!
Know your sunset
The days are longer during the summer which means, even more time to run! (yay) and this definitely helps me to fit it all in and stay on top of everything. However, make sure you know when sunset is because you don’t want to be stuck away from home with no night-gear and put yourself in danger. Once sunset starts it can get dark pretty quickly and only takes around 20 minutes when you are going to struggle to see anything. I like to use timeanddate.com to check all of my running data such as sunrise, sunset and conditions for the day (plus you can change it according to your location which is pretty handy.)
Avoid the afternoons
the morning and evenings are the best time to run during the summer on really hot days. You should avoid 11am-3pm as these are when the sun is at it’s highest and can cause you the most damage (plus it is usually hotter at these times). If you have to go out during these times then make sure you aren’t trying to push it and choose to do a slower training run instead otherwise you can compromise your health and give yourself heat stroke.
This is pretty self-explanatory and it is drummed into you to take water when you are running regardless of the weather but when it is hot and sunny you will be surprised how quickly you dehydrate, especially if you are running fast. If you find you are getting a headache while running, your eyes begin to hurt or your stomach starts to ache, these are all signs of dehydration and it could be time to stop off and refuel or take out water next time. I like to use small, handheld bottle because they are easy to carry and have just the right amount of water for a longer run.
For those who are looking at doing longer runs but don’t want to hold a bottle, you can look at getting camel packs or bladders that fit inside running backpacks and have a straw to drink from which are favorites of ultra and marathon runners.
Personally, I like to go out in shorts and a t-shirt, even if it is a little chilly and windy because I know I will quickly warm up but other people like to be warm and then take off layers so it can be a personal preference. What I mean by dressing appropriately is, give yourself the option to take layers off or put them on. During the summer you can overheat very quickly so if you are stuck in a long sleeve shirt you may find yourself more prone to headaches and struggling with running let alone progression as well as getting dehydrated quicker.
Especially on your face! You always end up putting suncream on the shoulders and arms but the face is where you get a lot of exposure all the time and so it is best to protect it as part of your regime and then it becomes second nature. Don’t forget your nose or the tips of your ears as these can be more sensitive than other areas and REALLY hurt when you burn them (yes, that is the voice of experience) As well as this, we all know that increased UV exposure increases the risk of skin cancer and as parents, we especially don’t want to risk that so don’t forget the suncream!
Squinting in the sun can cause headaches and the glare can permanently hurt your eyes so make sure you invest in some decent sunglasses or a brimmed sunhat (or both). You can get special running hats that aren’t as heavy as normal baseball caps to avoid your head from getting too hot and they can also be extra flexible and adjustable too! If you opt for sunglasses then choose specific ones that are tighter around the face so that they don’t move around too much as you are running!
Tried & Tested
Here are my running essentials that I own, use and definitely recommend!
Affiliate links (More info here) for these products – I like to keep things cheap and cheerful I don’t like to spend a lot :p :
- Karrimor Cool Race Cap
- Karrimor Running Belt
- Karrimor Tight Run Shorts
- Karrimor Breathable Running Tee
- High 5 Run Bottle
What are your summer running essentials? Leave a comment below