Last summer I was marathon training, and now I understand why many people prefer to train through the winter, however dark or cold or wet it may be. What might not seem like an especially warm day suddenly seemed sweltering as soon as I started a run- however easy the pace. Spring and summer running seems to be a special skill all of its own for that reason, and overheating or running in extreme heat without proper consideration is dangerous. Having learned a lot about how I can manage summer running, here's my 5 essentials...
1. Summer Activewear
So short shorts might not be for everyone, but if you wear too much heavy clothing, you'll get hot quickly, if the fabric isn't designed to wick the moisture away from your skin you may have issues with chafing as well as controlling your body temperature and none of this makes for enjoyable summer running. Shorts, 1/2 or 3/4 capris, technical t-shirts and vest tops are your friend and they needn't be super expensive. The shorts pictured came from Fabletics at £23 for both the shorts and a sports bra, the top is from H&M and comes in variety of colours and prints each season for £8. I 3 or 4 in various colours.
Sunglasses don't just protect your eyesight from sun damage, but when you're out and about they provide a barrier against flying debris on roads or trails, dust, dirt and pollen. These were £1.99 from Aldi a few weeks back. If you suffer allergies or hayfever, sunglasses really should be your best friend second only to your antihistamines at this time of year!
It has taken years for me to find a sun cream that doesn't irritate my skin and cause break-outs. The joys of the modern world and the internet mean that oil free or other specialist skin-type sun cream is as easy to buy as dropping into your local Boots or Superdrug. My pick for oily skin is La Roche Posay Anthelios XL. Shout out to Escentual.com from whom these sample sized tubes came (free with an order), and where you can buy a myriad of different types of sun cream to suit your skin type for under £20. If you're outside, you should be wearing sunscreen and that becomes even more important if you spend longer periods outdoors whilst exercising. Don't get caught out or burnt.
4. Hydration Tablets
I have talked before about drinking too much water, and hydration is really important when you exercise, regardless of the season or temperature, BUT when it's hot, you're likely to sweat more, and drink more water, this means you are sweating out salt and flushing through electrolytes, but you're not replacing them with anything. Dissolvable tabs (these ones are Science in Sport Lemon flavour) are a convenient addition to your water bottle, and give a needed boost in salt & electrolytes to help replenish them.
Yes, it's sweaty, and yes it can feel challenging to balance hydration and nutrition but getting out of the door is easier when it's sunny and dry, the days are longer both at the start and the end giving more time to enjoy a run in daylight, there's plenty of fun races to aim for and you can work on a killer sun tan. There's a lot to love about summer running.