Hydration: Don't get caught out by the heat!
21 July 2014
We're set to see some scorching weather over much of the country this week and nothing beats getting out for a run on a lovely summer's day, but when running in the heat, there are a few key points to think about which can reduce the risk of dehydration, heat stroke and other problems that can occur when doing activity in tough conditions.
Run England Group Leader and international distance runner Adam Hickey offers his advice to make sure running in the sun is as enjoyable as it should be!
If you’ve been running a while, you probably already run in lightweight tops but when leading our running groups, some of our beginners may not know the benefits of wearing such technical clothing. Due to developments in technology, the sportswear market is now full of clothing that can wick sweat away from our bodies to keep us cool when out running in the heat. Simple things such as wearing light coloured clothing can keep you and your runners cool as they can reflect the sun. Hats, sun cream and sunglasses are also important during the summer so make full use of them when the sun is out.
If possible, try to avoid running in the heat of the day, ideally a morning or evening run would be better when the sun is not as strong. If your groups usually meet around midday or the afternoon, try to re-arrange them for different times if possible. If this isn’t an option then try to run in the shade and adapt the sessions to include more rest or shorter efforts to reduce the risk of heat stroke or exhaustion.
Ensure that every member of your group has a drink with them for your run session, ideally water as some sports drinks can sit on your stomach, and a minimum of 750ml. I try to keep a supply of bottled water in the boot of my car in case someone forgets their own. Although taking on fluids is particularly important in the heat, ensuring both yourself and your group are hydrated is important all year round. Make sure that runners are turning up to your training sessions well hydrated.
Adam Hickey balances work at Southend West School Sports Partnership with being a Run England group leader and an international distance runner himself!
He has represented England and Great Britain at cross country and triathlon in European and World Championships all over the world including Kenya and Japan. He studied for a degree in Sport Science and Management whilst training for athletics, cross country and triathlon in Loughborough where he also gained experience of coaching the University Triathlon Club.