Adapt your run­ning regime for the hol­i­day heat:

Fol­low the shade and work on find­ing the right bal­ance be­tween run­ning and rest­ing on your hol­i­day

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Front Page - Mary Jen­nings

The re­cent heat­wave was a gen­tle re­minder to us run­ners of how much our Ir­ish bod­ies strug­gle with run­ning in the heat. The heat­wave ar­rived sud­denly and with­out any chance to ac­cli­ma­tise, we were hum­bled by its im­pact on our run­ning speed, con­fi­dence and com­fort.

The power of the heat Whether you are hol­i­day­ing at home or abroad this sum­mer, re­spect the cli­mate and its im­pact on your body and run­ning per­for­mance. If you choose to pack your run­ning shoes, do not put your­self un­der pres­sure to achieve the same dis­tances and speed as you nor­mally run. For recre­ational run­ners and elite ath­letes alike, run­ning in the heat re­duces your speed. The body works over­time to keep you cool as your in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture rises. With ad­di­tional pos­si­ble hu­mid­ity and al­ti­tude to con­tend with, you have a body that is fight­ing many chal­lenges, not just the job of putting one foot in front of the other.

Adapt your run Be flex­i­ble with your train­ing plan while on hol­i­day. Lis­ten to your body and adapt to the con­di­tions and the ter­rain. Be sen­si­ble and avoid sit­u­a­tions where run­ning might not be a good idea. Find a route that is less ex­posed to the heat than in di­rect sun­light. Fol­low the shade where you can. There may even be a case for ho­tel tread­mills if the weather out­side or the lo­cal area is not safe for run­ning. If you do ven­ture out­doors in heat, wear light, loose cloth­ing and cover your head. Sun cream is essen­tial and find­ing the right prod­uct that doesn’t run into your eyes might take a few at­tempts. In the mean­time, Vase­line on your eye­brows will catch the drops. Run­ning in early morn­ing or late evening are the best times to avoid the heat although both of these op­tions might re­quire un­der­stand­ing hol­i­day com­pan­ions.

Keep hy­drated Hy­dra­tion is a full-time job rather than a quick drink be­fore you lace up your shoes. I pre­fer to hy­drate grad­u­ally through­out the day as this avoids that feel­ing of full­ness and the need to keep a look­out for the lo­cal public toi­lets. De­pend­ing on the length of your run, choose to bring along a drink with you. Cool down with a dip in the sea or pool for the ul­ti­mate run re­cov­ery. I al­ways bring a few emer­gency euro in my back pocket to stop off in a shop for a drink en-route. If you plan your route per­fectly, you can fin­ish your run at an ice-cream shop and re­plen­ish a few calo­ries with the re­main­ing sweaty euro.

Ac­cli­ma­tise Many years ago I learnt the les­son the hard way that giv­ing your body time to adapt to the heat is essen­tial. Ar­riv­ing into Lan­zarote the night be­fore the marathon may have got me the best flight prices, but land­ing into the Ca­nary Is­lands heat di­rectly from an Ir­ish Jan­uary was not the jump that my body needed. I spent many miles chas­ing the shade and wish­ing away the time. Even a few days of ac­cli­ma­tis­ing and hy­dra­tion would have helped my cause. Give your body the time to adapt to your sur­round­ings and as the days pass you will no­tice that run­ning may feel a lit­tle eas­ier.

Get lo­cal knowl­edge You won’t be the only run­ner in town. Ask in your ho­tel about any rec­om­mended run­ning routes or ar­eas that should be avoided. There might be a lo­cal run­ning club, shop or gym that or­gan­ises group runs. Run­ning tourism is on the rise with 5k parkruns now pop­u­lar right across the world and large cities of­fer­ing run­ning tours of the sites. The best ad­vice comes from lo­cals and you might just get a dif­fer­ent in­sight into your hol­i­day lo­ca­tion by link­ing in with lo­cal run­ners.

Be prac­ti­cal Find the right bal­ance be­tween run­ning and rest­ing on hol­i­day. I love the free­dom of run­ning in a new lo­ca­tion with a sur­prises around ev­ery cor­ner and an ap­petite for break­fast when I re­turn. Al­most al­ways, how­ever, I do end up run­ning a lot less on hol­i­day than I plan. The chal­lenge is not to feel guilty about hav­ing the lie-in or a lazy

Sun­cream is essen­tial and find­ing the right prod­uct that doesn’t run into your eyes might take a few at­tempts

day. It is a hol­i­day after all, but some­times we do feel that the free time should be filled with ac­tiv­ity rather than re­cov­ery. There may be days when run­ning is not the most sen­si­ble thing to do. A hol­i­day should be your chance to have a break from the stress and rou­tine of daily life. If your hol­i­day sched­ule or weather means that fit­ting in a run might be more stress­ful than sat­is­fy­ing, de­cide if run­ning is re­ally the best use of your hol­i­day time.

A to­tal break? Rather than feel guilty for putting off a run ev­ery morn­ing of your hol­i­day, you may choose in­stead to leave your run­ning gear at home with the rest of your usual rou­tine and give your run­ning a com­plete hol­i­day too. If you feel you might have with­drawal symp­toms, you could al­ways bring a book about run­ning to read by the pool in­stead. For some run­ners, es­pe­cially those nurs­ing a nig­gle or in­jury, this could pos­si­bly be your best choice of hol­i­day work­out.

Ac­cli­ma­tis­ing to the beach: Re­spect the cli­mate and its im­pact on your body and run­ning per­for­mance

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