MF RUNNING COACH SEAN WILLIAMS OFFERS HIS TIPS TO ENSURE YOUR WELL BEING AND SAFETY DURING THE HOTTER MONTHS.
1 AVOID THE HEAT OF THE DAY
Run early in the morning or late in the evening. And run on the shady side of the street rather than in direct sunlight.
2 START AT A CONSERVATIVE PACE
Begin the run at least 10 seconds per kilometre slower that you would in ideal conditions. Focus on conserving energy and maintaining a steady effort. If you’re new to running, add power-walk breaks every 4 to 8 minutes to cool yourself.
3 SWITCH GEARS AND ADAPT
Gradually build up your tolerance for running in hotter conditions. It takes about two weeks for your body to adapt to the heat and gradually become better at cooling itself, allowing you to run at your normal pace.
4 WEAR LIGHT-COLOURED, LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING
Look for new-generation fabrics designed to wick away moisture from your skin and help keep you cool. Wear socks made of synthetic fibres that also wick away the sweat to help prevent blisters and athlete’s foot. If you want to cover your head, wear a loose-fitting cap made of mesh or a breathable material.
5 USE SUNSCREEN USE SUNSCREEN TO PREVENT SUNBURN.
Try to avoid midday exposure between 10am and 3pm.
6 PROTECT YOUR EYES
Wear sunglasses with UV protection to reduce sun glare.
7 STAY HYDRATED
The main danger of running in hot weather is heat exhaustion or heat stroke. You can lose between 175 and 350ml of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. To avoid that, drink adequate fluid 30-45 minutes before running and then a cupful every 10-15 minutes. Your body requires fluid to help maintain a balanced temperature. Sports drinks help to replace the potassium and sodium lost from sweating and are a good source for carbohydrates, which fuel your muscles when they’re working hard.
8 PLAN YOUR ROUTE
So you can take on water at a tap or find drinking fountains.
9 KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS
Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, dizziness, disorientation, decrease in sweating, pale dry skin, blurred vision and loss of muscular control. If you notice any of these, stop running immediately. Get to a shaded, cool area, drink and pour some water over yourself and get assistance.
10 WEIGH YOURSELF BEFORE AND AFTER A RUN
Ideally, you shouldn’t lose more than 2 percent of your body weight after long runs. If you’re gaining weight, you’re over-hydrating and you may drop critical salt levels in your body. (A condition known as “hyponatremia” can occur, when there is a lower than normal concentration of sodium in the blood. Sodium is a critical electrolyte that aids nerve and muscle function, and helps to maintain blood pressure.)