As many of you know I live in Australia, and here on the West Coast we have just gotten through a summer of record temperatures.
Last Sunday I ran with a group of runners for a 21 mile trail run. We started reasonably early at about 7am, but four hours later when we finished the temperature was well over 34 degrees Celsius, or 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The last five miles was certainly a battle, with the heat definitely effecting not only the pace of the run (I switched to a 25 minute run, 5 minute walk schedule), but also how I felt straight after…my brain felt fried!
One of my running buddies had run out of water with 4 miles to go, and he really suffered!
A few weeks earlier I had run a 30 mile distance, with the last 13 miles also being in these types of temperatures, with the outcome being very similar.
So having been bitten twice in the last month, I thought I would give some tips for your running, when the temperatures start to rise:
- Run in the coolest parts of the day. For me that means a lot of runs start as early as 5am.
- Pick a shady route, and run in the shade where possible.
- Run somewhere where you know it will be cooler. I live close to the beach, so on hot days will often go and run on the water’s edge.
- Make sure you have sufficient water. Run where you know there will be regular taps for a water stop, carry your own in a bottle or hydration pack, or drop some water at designated spots before your run.
- Wear a light colored hat.
- On long runs consider sodium replacement though tablets.
- Slow your pace. Take in walk breaks where needed.
- Carry a phone in case you need to pull up short.
These tips don’t just apply for those of us running durations in excess of an hour in Half Marathon Training, Marathon Training and Ultra Marathon Training. They should be considered even if you’re just starting out with the Couch to 5k plan, or are moving from the Couch to 10k.