BRIGHT IDEAS

Runner's World (UK) - - Training -

Use the abun­dance of day­light in sum­mer to get fit and have fun

On the sum­mer sol­stice, June 21, more than 16 hours will pass be­tween sun­rise and sun­set in most parts of the UK. The long, warm days at this time of year are great for run­ning and other out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, so use the hours to change up your nor­mal work­out rou­tine.

VARY YOUR RUN TIMES

Learn­ing how to eat and warm up be­fore runs at dif­fer­ent times of day will pre­pare you to fit in a run when­ever you can. Vary­ing your rou­tine also keeps your mind en­gaged. If you’re head­ing out early in the day, hy­drate be­fore you leave. You don’t need to eat be­fore runs of 45 min­utes or less, but if you’re hun­gry, stick to small por­tions of food that’s low in fat and fi­bre. Ha­bit­ual morn­ing run­ners who go out later than usual should hy­drate through­out the day and, an hour or two be­fore their run, eat a low-fi­bre, low-fat snack of 150-200 calo­ries.

MEET A GROUP

Around this time of year, group runs tend to at­tract lots of peo­ple. Just as you ex­per­i­ment with your run times, try dif­fer­ent group runs – you’ll meet new friends, feel a dif­fer­ent en­ergy and prob­a­bly dis­cover new routes. Con­tact a group mem­ber be­fore you go to en­sure there will be oth­ers run­ning at your speed.

ADD CROSS-TRAIN­ING

Spend more time out­doors by adding ac­tiv­i­ties such as hik­ing, cy­cling and swim­ming. Cross-train­ing on non-run­ning days (or af­ter a short run) will im­prove your health and chal­lenge your body in a way run­ning doesn’t, and with­out putting as much stress on your joints. It’s best to run ev­ery other day to main­tain run­ning adap­ta­tions, but if you cross-train two or three days each week you can get by with twice-weekly 20-min main­te­nance runs.

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