Summer Running Tips

It seems like summer is finally here and warm weather runs are on the horizon – but before you start to think of excuses as to why its ‘too hot to run’ – I have a few things for you to consider.

Did you know that human beings are one of the very few animals that are able to produce sweat? Yes – sweating can be sometimes unpleasant to see and smell, but it’s actually a very important mechanism in our bodies that allows us to regulate our internal body temperature, so we don’t overheat.

As humans evolved and started to lose the hair covering their bodies, this allowed sweat to easily evaporate from the skin – which gave our ancestors a competitive advantage when hunting or scavenging in the midday sun.  We have evolved to be able to cool our bodies by sweating and we can actually keep our bodies cool while running and still be able to breath and move at the same time (rather than panting to cool down as many other animals have to).

Good news for endurance runners – and those of us who will be putting in the miles over the coming summer months, but a few things to consider when running in the heat.

It takes more effort to run in the heat – your body has to work harder to keep cool, which in turn means less oxygen is diverted to the muscles and your heart rate will be higher.

Your body will adapt to running in the heat – but it takes a week or two of running regularly in higher temperatures for this to happen, so give yourself time to adapt – and if the temperatures drop again and we have cooler weather – you may have to start again with the acclimatisation period.

If the temperatures go over 26 Degrees Celsius (around 80 Fahrenheit) running becomes much more difficult as the sweat you produce won’t evaporate fast enough to keep up with your speed and you may not only need to slow down, but to walk (or even stop).  Fortunately in this country temperatures rarely exceed that!

One thing that’s easy to overlook is dehydration – obviously the more we sweat, the more fluids we need to replace in our bodies. Remember when you increase your fluid intake, don’t just drink water as this can create dangerous imbalances in your body – include electrolyte powders or tablets to replace the any minerals lost through sweating.  I pop a High 5 Hydration Tablet in one of my running water bottles and sip throughout a run

You can of course make adjustments when running in the summer to avoid the mid-day sun and run away from tarmac roads which reflect the heat off the road surface and like me, wear a hat and lightweight clothing.

Here are my Summer Running Tips :-

Hydrate more often

Run Early or late in the day

Allow yourself time to Acclimatise

Take it easier than usual

Wear the appropriate Gear

Make Adjustments to your programme

Run in the Shade, on grass or near water

Stay cool 


Angela MacAusland

Run Coach Angela

[email protected]