I love running during the summer months. It feels great to get up early when it’s already light and warm outside and go for a pre-work run. I love the feeling of the sun’s warmth on my skin and the freedom of not having to layer up my running clothes. Summer running isn’t all good though and having to put in the long runs needed when training for a marathon on hot days can not only be difficult but also dangerous. Here are some of my running essentials that keep me safe and happy when running during summer.
The right clothes
Wearing the right running gear can have a huge impact on your running performance and while during winter it is all about staying warm and dry, in summer the focus is to remain as cool as possible. Shorts are best for very warm days, but if you really hate the idea of showing off your legs, choose cropped leggings in very light fabrics that have been specially designed for working out in the warm weather. For tops very light breathable fabrics are best, ideally you want to choose ones that are developed to absorb the sweat away from your body.
Wear a hat
If I’m out running a long distance on a hot day I will opt to wear a cap. Hats or caps are essential as they help to protect your head from the sun’s heat, which will help to prevent you overheating. I choose a cap as it helps to shield my eyes from the sunlight as well.
If you are running long distances or sweat loads during hot training sessions, making sure you replace your electrolytes will help to improve your performance and keep you safe. Some runners have made the fatal mistake of not taking electrolytes during marathons, which has led to tragic results. Luckily they can be easily added to your nutrition through sports drinks or supplements – ideally you should speak to a sports nutritionist to ensure you get enough electrolytes for your training.
Drinking enough water, but not over hydrating, is vital for runners all year round but especially during summer. If you’re running long distances try and take a filled water bottle out on your run with you so that you can hydrate as you go. As well as this, you should aim to stay hydrated throughout the day even when you’re not running to ensure you are not dehydrated before you start your run.
Another essential that will help to keep you safe while outdoors running in summer is sunscreen. While it can be easy to remember to wear sunscreen on your face, many runners forget the rest of their bodies as well. Ideally put sunscreen on all exposed skin before going for a run, remembering legs, arms and backs.
What are your running essentials when you run during summer?