Our marathon expert Graham Jessop, gives us some pointers for training in the warmer weather
Hi everyone – this summer weather is just fantastic. I hope many of you are well into your training programmes for October, but be careful when exercising in hot conditions as several things happen physiologically that make the effort harder. For example the heart rate is likely to increase and also the amount of perspiration. Hence you need to compensate for this. If possible train earlier in the morning or later in the day but unless it is absolutely essential it is advisable not to train under the heat of the midday sun. There are some running tips which can assist you in this hot weather.
1. Appropriate clothing
Your choice of clothing will definitely have an impact on your level of comfort, particularly if you know that it’s going to be a hot one! Opt for a breathable vest or crop top with ‘wickable’ fabric and if possible go for lighter colours that help to reflect rather than absorb heat. Wearing a white cap will help to keep the sun off of your head and will therefore reduce the risk of heat stroke and help to reduce the perspiration. If it’s really warm you might want to soak the cap in water before you start to help keep you cool for those first few miles.
2. Importance of hydration
Warm weather means higher sweat rates. In order to optimise your training performance you should ensure that you are properly hydrated during and after the training run. It’s vital to replace the electrolytes that are lost through sweat as your body’s cells rely on them to function properly. Even if not out training drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Take fluid with you on the run and if doing a longer run get a family member or friend to meet you part way round with some extra fluid.
This is even more important if you’re a particularly ‘salty sweater’. (You can tell if you’re a salty sweater if you get that white film on your face, neck or shoulders or you can taste salt in the shower after a run!).
3. Pre-training routines
Even in warm weather it is important to keep to your pre-training routines. Do not get out of the habit of stretching and warming up. It may not be as intense as in colder weather but a good stretch makes those muscles more efficient and less prone to injury. At the end of the session pay some attention to cooling down and relaxing the body.
4. Revised pacing strategy
When training on a warm day, it’s important to be realistic; your end time is likely to be slower than anticipated. You should focus on the process rather than the outcome, and adopting a sensible pacing strategy is the best way to maximise your potential when training in the heat. The suggested approach is to try and start slightly conservatively and aim to cover the first half of the session more slowly than the second. After half way see what you have left and go for it! BUT do no burn yourself out in the early part of your session.
5. Blisters and chaffing
As temperatures begin to rise you may find that you become more susceptible to blisters and chaffing. Vaseline is perfect for helping to prevent unwanted blisters and chaffing. You can even try putting a dab on your eyebrows to help prevent any sweat from running into your eyes! Also make sure your shoes are dry before putting them on as any moisture within your shoes can further increase the potential for blisters.
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