Friday Finds is a regular feature in which I collate and share interesting articles and posts on running/health/fitness which I’ve read recently. Some might be inspiring, some might be scientific, some might provoke debate. All are things I’ve found in some way thought-provoking.
Whether like me you’re seeking out sunnier climes this summer, or simply hoping for a heatwave wherever you call home, there’s no getting away from the fact that hot weather has an impact on our running. So what better time to share some articles about summer running and racing than now?
Let’s start with the most scientific piece I have for you this week, as Alex Hutchison shares with The Globe and Mail some of the latest sport science about how to keep your cool when the mercury rises. I’m particularly pleased to note that my strategy of drinking some water for hydration then pouring some over my head for cooling seems to be endorsed by the results presented.
Next up, some ideas about how to maintain training whilst away on a trip. On my summer holiday I usually get up early to run while it’s cooler (relatively speaking!) and scale my mileage back a bit – I’ll run much better on my return for being well rested and having a bit of training in hotter weather. And of course, I’ve been known to fit in a race (or two!) whilst I’m away!
If, like me, you’ve got some races planned this summer, then it pays to be prepared. Luckily, Active has put together some top tips for hot weather racing. I certainly know that my running improves the longer I’m in the heat as my body acclimatises, and I always think very carefully about the most appropriate kit for the conditions. I’d also recommend sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sunshine for a long time, otherwise you’ll be sporting a cracking runner’s tan at the beach!
Of course, one of the main things to realise is that the warmer weather will slow you down. Since your body is working harder to keep you cool, there’s less energy left to help you to run faster, so your usual pace is likely to feel much harder on a warm day. If you’d like to see just exactly how much you might be affected, then there’s a link in this article from Mental Floss that will help you out.
And finally, we all enjoy taking lots of photos in the summer, especially if we’re running or racing somewhere a bit different. But if the weather is warm then there’s an excellent chance our race photos will just be a record of us looking like a sweaty mess who can’t remember why they thought running in the heat was a good idea! Never fear, Active has come to our rescue once more with some thoughts on how to improve our race pictures. If you get a good one, I’d love to hear about it…
The Running Princess