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Run Ireland’s Top Tips for Running in the Heat


With the recent spell of warm weather expected to continue right into next week we have put some top tips together for running in the heat as suggested by our Run Ireland team. So whether you are racing or running at home, or heading abroad to warmer climates with your runners in your carry on, try out some of these tips to keep you on track with your training and racing in the heat.

Top Tips

Train earlier or later in the day
Take advantage of the cooler air in the morning (or the evening) to get your session done, not only will you get a great start to your day with your endorphins coursing though your body you will benefit from not training in the high heat of afternoon or early evening. Allowing you to maximize your training session.

Adjust your training distance / intensity
Not all training sessions are created equally, training in the heat can affect you more than you think, both during your training and your recovery. So instead of doing that interval session in the sweltering heat of the day swap it out for an easier longer session, making sure you have water/ hydration with you for your training. If you can’t adjust the time of the session then adjust the session,
pace your session smartly, start slowly and gauge how you feel, training in the heat is much tougher than you think.

Keep your hydration in check
Our natural cooling mechanism is our skin, when we train in the heat our bodies try to cool us down by perspiring, it’s important to ensure you are adequately hydrated before during and after your run. If doing a long run in the heat why not place your preferred drink out on the route like a feed/ water station in a race and be sure to have plenty of water/ recovery drink of choice post run to recover well after the session. For shorter running sessions carry a small bottle of water with you and some electrolytes to replace the salt lost by perspiration.

Start your cooling before you run
Eat a cold meal/ cool breakfast, ditch the porridge in lieu of something cold and nutritious, keeping in mind that you don’t want to try anything new that may cause GI trouble whilst out on the run. When the dial hits 20 degrees it’s time to leave the soup in the pot and eat a salad

Wear looser /lighter clothing
You don’t need your long pants and your arm warmers when the sun is out, some dri-fit or moisture wicking fabric will help keep you as cool as you can be during your session. Avoid wearing black as it absorbs the sunlight, so light in colour and light in fabric should see you right.

Cover up – Wear a hat
It might see bizarre but wearing a hat or cover for your head can keep you cooler in the warm weather, it can also help avoid the sweat going into your eyes and prevent your head from getting burnt. If racing where there are sponges provided at cooling stations placing them on you head under your hat can be a great way to cool your body down without slowing you down. Protect your eyes from the glare of sunlight by wearing sun glasses.

Wear sunscreen!
We don’t think this needs any explanation other than you don’t want to have a runners scalded tan on your holidays or at your next race, it doesn’t look good in photos and it’s not good for your health.

Finally, if like us you are lucky to have a safe bathing location such as Galway Bay on your doorstep why not cool down post run by dipping your legs into the cold water, not only will it cool you down but it will help with recovery for your next session. Always be sure to keep water safety in mind if dipping your legs in the open water.

Enjoy the sunshine and have fun! 

Photo Credit: Joanne Murphy