To enter the Great Bristol Half Marathon, visit grtrun.org/BristolHalf
Great Bristol Half Marathon may just be around the corner, but so is a so-called ‘Indian summer’. You may already be no stranger to running in the heat, but with your distances now reaching well over the 10-mile mark, here are some tips for training in muggy weather:
So this one is a no-brainer, but even more important when you’re getting out and about in the humidity. If you don’t take enough water with you - or drink up both before and after a long run - you’ll be feeling sluggish and slow in no time.
It’s important that you don’t chug too much, however, so stick to about 32 ounces per hour.
2. Pick your moments
Think back to your latest sun holiday. If it was Spain or Italy, what time did the siestas happen? That’s right, you’ll want to avoid these times of the day to go for a run if hot temperatures are to be expected.
Early morning and late afternoon are definitely your best bet.
3. Dress lightly
We know it may look grey and about to rain, but if the humidity and general mugginess is up, then you will be sweating in that hoodie in no time. Don’t be afraid to bare your legs in some running shorts and please ditch the sleeves. Wear light fabrics too - hi-tech fabrics and mesh are your friends (but not cotton or lycra).
Word to the wise: you may want to stock up on plasters and Vaseline if you are prone to chafing. It also goes without saying that you should be dressing yourself in suncream, too.
4. Give yourself a break
Many runners - myself included - struggle to jog at normal pace in the heat. It can be really frustrating and off-putting, but there is nothing wrong with you. Really.
Simply go with the flow and stop if you feel light-headed, tired or sluggish. Sometimes walking for a bit helps, and while you may not want to, ask yourself: Would I rather finish this run and feel good, or finish and feel absolutely drained?
5. Energy gels
These can come in really handy in the heat, even for shorter runs. Make sure you pick one that’s right for your digestion and if they don’t suit you, grab some jelly babies or carb up before a longer run. Sports drinks or electrolyte supplements can be a great boost, too.
6. Run outside the city
Bristol’s actually a great place to run on a warm, muggy or hot day, simply because it’s so easy to escape the city and its heat-trapping asphalt. Try some routes like Blaise Castle, where down under the shade of the trees near the stream it’s a little cooler, or out the Tow Path toward Pill. Anywhere that takes you into the countryside and away from the bustle of the inner city will be a good spot to cool down - just make sure to be safe and let people know where you are, at the same time.
7. Cool down
After a warmer-than-usual run, you will definitely want to cool down by walking or lightly jogging for at least five to 10 minutes afterwards. Have a towel on hand and plenty of water, don’t forget to stretch and if you’re still feeling hot after, you’ve probably earned an ice cream - my personal favourite is Swoon Gelato on Park St, just a tip.
What are your top tips for surviving muggy runs? Send us yours in the comments!