How to stay cool in hot weather

Make sure you stay cool during hot weather while you burn up the road! We have some top tips for anyone wondering how to stay cool running in the heat.

A surprising first step

First of all, let’s get you up to speed with the science. Knowing how to stay cool while running means understanding your body. Dr Andrew Drake, British Athletics Talent Hub Manager says:

He suggests three simple things you can do:

Down to earth

Tom Craggs, England Athletics Regional Coaching Lead has these wise words

Dress for success

Chafing is more likely to happen in the heat as you sweat more. Try to run in technical moisture-wicking, breathable fabric as this will wick moisture away from your skin to prevent chafing.

Expect a warm glow

When you’re running your body burns glycogen which raises your body temperature. It is natural to sweat at this point as it is the body’s way of trying to regulate temperature and stop overheating.

Have a plan

In 2019 the Athletics World Champs took place in the cauldron that is Doha. In such a hot environment, Emily Diamond learned some important hydration tips for runners. "The main thing to prepare for the heat in Doha was organisation," says Olympic medallist Emily Diamond. "I took a lot of SIS Hydration tablets with me to make sure I stay hydrated both during sessions and in between sessions. I also took with me a water spray bottle (the sort of one Mrs Hinch uses for cleaning) so that I could cool myself down during sessions. Ice cold towels were crucial for training in the extreme heat."

It's not all doom and gloom

Research suggests that done right, training in hot weather will improve your VO2 max. Successful adaption to heat allows more effective delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles with less effort. This may sound surprising but think about it; all the major champs all take place in the summer in warmer conditions. The key is clearly about getting heat management right and you too can reap the benefits…

Don’t forget your dog gets hot too

Andrew and England Athletics National Endurance Lead Spencer Duval both recommend ice vests for elite athletes in extreme conditions to cool down before events. Spencer also reminds us the same kit is available for faithful friends. Click here to find out more.

To learn more about hydration tips for runners and how to stay cool running in the heat, visit our tips and advice page.