Southern Cross University senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science Dr Chris Stevens gives expert advice on how to prioritise your running routine despite the heat.
With the festive season behind us, now is a great time to prioritise your running.
Running in the summer when it’s hot can be an obstacle for runners to overcome. Run in the early morning or evening to beat the heat when you can. If the hot weather is unavoidable, reduce the duration and intensity of your run and take cold water to drink and pour on yourself. After a week of running in the heat, you will gain some adaptations that will make you feel more comfortable, and then you can increase your running duration first and then intensity. Take a hat, sunscreen and wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing when running outdoors. If it’s a hot, humid, cloudless and wind-still day be very careful; these are the toughest conditions to run in. If you’re using the treadmill, set up a fan in front of you to help your sweat evaporate and keep you cool.
If you’re in a slump with your running, try mixing up your routine. Run a new route, try a trail run or a beach run. Jumping in the ocean at the end of a hot run is an amazing feeling! If you usually run on your own, organise a friend to run with, or reach out to your local club or coach to join their sessions. If you usually run threshold and long slow distance sessions, try an interval session with repeats of 4-5 min of fast running interspersed with 1-2 min of walking. A bit of variety could help you to find your passion for running again.
If you’re going travelling or taking a break it can be easy to fall out of your running routine. It can be helpful to run at the same time of day no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Tell your family in advance about your running schedule and get their support, and even better, get them running too! Keep your running gear in the car (and a towel) so you’re always ready to go.
Make your running a priority this summer and find your fitness again.
Dr Chris Stevens
Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science
Southern Cross University