Training in the Heat

Summer is here! it’s time to enjoy the blissful sunshine! … but when training, the sun can be an unrecognised hazard.

Literature surrounding training in heat concludes that heat places additional stress on the body due to thermoregulation (the self-regulation of body temperature). Let’s not forget about the risk of sunstroke and skin irritation, the heat can introduce numerous risks when training outside!

So, what can we do to minimise the risks?

Clothing – Wearing bright, light colours will repel the sun’s rays and deduct some of the heat emitted by the sun.

Hats – The go to equipment for scalp protection from sun exposure and shade your face. To those who can pull off the look, a visor is preferable as they offer higher levels of breathability than hats.

Sunscreen – Active sunscreens do not run when you sweat and absorb into skin quickly.

Sunglasses – Eye care is of high importance when running outside for long periods of time. Research has discovered cornea damage after long runs without eye protection. When purchasing a new pair of sunglasses for sport, it is important to ensure that they offer UV protection and fit your face comfortably.

Arm coolers & Sun sleeves – This is an easy way to protect your arms, usually sold in light colours, the sleeves keep your arms cool whilst running in the heat.

Plan your runs accordingly, stay out of the mid-day sun and train later in the day at an attempt to stay cool.

And most importantly … Stay hydrated! When exercising, an athlete must consume enough water to replace the amount lost in sweat, so the harder you work, the more water you need. A great way to determine if you are adequately hydrated is the colour of your urine, if light, you are drinking well! … if dark you need to consume more water.

Training in the sun can be enjoyable. Nothing but the cool gentle breeze gently cooling your skin as the bright, burning sun illuminates the skies. It is easy to forget our limits in this weather, stay hydrated and stay safe.

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