It’s not every day you hear that is it?
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy being outside in the sun – but with the recent heat wave, I just am not cut out to run in hot conditions.
Running last weekend (18th June) in the World Mountain Running Trials only proved this.
Ascending Sedbergh, the heat just left me panting, struggling to maintain a half decent pace. Finishing last U19 male it wasn’t my best run, however, I hadn’t prepared for the heat.
So, what can be done to help us run in hot conditions?
Acclimatisation is the best and most effective method. Adapting to the conditions, so you can perform in them. Running morning and/or evening to begin with; allowing your body to adjust to the new climate and the demands it brings. As your body develops, becoming more efficient – you will be able to run in and perform well in the higher temperatures.
Unfortunately for me, the recent heatwave hadn’t been around long enough for me to slowly adapt and I’d not acclimatised prior to my race, which left me nervously hoping for the best.
Other strategies or methods of helping us cope in the heat include staying hydrated. Consuming enough fluids to replace those beginning lost. It may also be worth using electrolyte tablets to help shake the feeling of dehydration; my personal favourite is High5’s Zero in the Berry flavour.
One other thing worth considering (by contrast) is staying cool immediately beforehand. Travelling in a well-ventilated car either with air conditioning or having open windows will help on the build up to the start – preventing you from being affected the heat so quickly (in my experience).
This means that you will be fresher and more capable from the start. But nothing will replace the feeling of being wet and cold.
Whichever of these measures I rely upon in future, I ought to start thinking about it a little more ahead of time, so I can finish further up the field.
Particularly out on the fells, just the way I like it.
Jack Crownshaw runs with the support of Team Accelerate and inov-8 All Terrain Running.
You can see his profile here.