Adjusting Your Training in a Heatwave

Running-Heatwave.jpg

Teresa Leese; 4th July 2018

We are in the height of the summer race season here in the UK and with Autumn marathons looming, many of you are at important stages of your training. However we seem to have been hit/blessed with the longest heatwave I can ever remember! So how does this affect our training? Do not underestimate the power of the heat and take a look at our list of top tips for adjusting your training this summer:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • Slow down – When the temperature is higher than usual, do not go out on a run expecting to produce the same speeds as you usually would. Running in the heat puts considerably more strain on your body. It may not seem like it at the time, but you will reap the rewards of training in the heat once the temperature goes back down without having to maintain the same speeds. 
  • Reduce your distance – Similarly to the above, you do not need to go out on a 15 mile run just because that’s what your plan says. When that plan was written you probably weren’t expecting it to be 30 degrees so adjust it as necessary or just do what feels right. Running 5 miles in the heat will benefit you just as much as running the 8 miles you had planned in ‘normal’ weather. 
  • Run at different times – Sure, you may always like to run at lunchtime but considering the sun will be at its hottest point, we would advise against it. Try getting up early or going for an evening run as the sun is going down. If you are marathon training and have a long run planned you could split it and do half in the morning and half in the evening. 
  • Run indoors – Most of us are not the biggest fans of running on a treadmill, but needs must. If it is that or skipping your run today, why not give it a go. Air-con and unlimited amounts of water… definitely worth a shot!
  • Mix it up – Try something new! Is this the perfect time to visit your local lido and start swimming? It will certainly cool you down as well as getting some training in, win win! Or how about giving stair climbing a go… Find a decent sized building (10+ floors) and swap one of your runs for a lung-busting, quad-burning stair workout. The Total Motion Towerrunners train every Tuesday at Broadgate Tower in London, everyone is welcome and your first session is free. Many of this group are runners who supplement their training with stairs and are real advocates for the benefits it can have on your running! Find out more about the benefits here.

Even if you adjust your training as above, remember all the usual tips for staying safe in the heat; plenty of water, sun-cream and shade. Or maybe you will decide to take a break altogether while the heat lasts and just enjoy it, have a bbq, meet up with friends, sunbathe all day?! It won’t be long until we are back to rain and cloud so enjoy it while it lasts!

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