With the summer sun blazing down (well, sort of, we all know that UK weather can be a bit hit and miss!), hitting the pavement for a run can feel like an instant sweat session. But fear not, even if you haven't prepped for the heat, there are ways to keep cool and safe while getting your exercise in. 
 
Here are some friendly tips to help you stay safe and enjoy your run, even when the mercury is rising. 

Sunscreen 

First things first, let's talk sun protection. Slathering on sunscreen isn't just a recommendation—it's a must. Opt for a sports sunscreen that won't sting your eyes when you start to sweat. Trust us; nothing ruins a run faster than sunscreen-induced tears. So, slap it on generously and often to shield your skin from those scorching rays. 

Preventing chafing 

Chafing is the enemy of every runner, especially when the heat adds extra moisture to the mix. Combat this pesky problem by using Vaseline or body glide in all the right places. Your thighs will thank you later! 

Slow and steady wins the race 

Remember, there's no shame in slowing down. When the temperature rises, it's essential to listen to your body and adjust your pace accordingly. Forget about chasing personal bests; focus on crossing the finish line safely. If you need to walk, walk. The goal is to finish strong, not to push yourself to the brink of heat exhaustion. 

Hydration 

We know this is an obvious one, but hydration is key. If you haven't been hydrating leading up to your run, start now. On the day of your run, sip water regularly, and consider incorporating electrolytes to replenish those lost through sweat. But remember, too much of a good thing can lead to hyponatremia, so find your hydration sweet spot and stick to it. 

Beware the dehydration dangers 

Dehydration is no joke, especially in the sweltering heat. Keep an eye out for signs like dizziness, fatigue, and dark urine. If you start to feel the effects of dehydration, slow down, hydrate, and seek shade. And remember, caffeinated drinks and alcohol can exacerbate dehydration, so save them for post-run celebrations. 

Dress to impress (and stay cool) 

Choosing the right running gear can make all the difference when the temperature soars. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away sweat and keep you cool. Don't forget a cap or visor to shield your face from the sun and consider investing in sports glasses to protect your eyes. And remember, if you’re planning to run at an event, never, ever wear new gear on race day—save the experimentation for your training runs!. 

Water: Not just for drinking 

When it comes to staying cool, water is your best friend. Don't just drink it—pour it over yourself to help regulate your body temperature. A quick splash of water can provide instant relief when the heat becomes unbearable. 

Knowing when to say when 

Lastly, but most importantly, know when to call it quits. Be mindful of the signs of heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. If you experience symptoms like muscle cramps, nausea, headache, or confusion, stop immediately. Seek shade, cool down, and if necessary, seek medical attention. Your health and safety should always come first, so keep in mind that there’s a big difference in pushing yourself to do better and making yourself unwell. 
 
 
Did you know that sports massage can help to keep you in tip-top form for running? Contact our friendly team today to book an appointment
Tagged as: health, massage, running
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