5 ways for runners to stay cool this summer

Posted by Stuart Morrison on

Running in hot weather

It's been unseasonably hot this summer. And it's been forecast to get hotter, with temperatures expect to reach as high as 40oC!
How do we run in temperatures like this? With many big races in the autumn, including the London Marathon, it's not like we can just stop training.
Here are 5 ways to keep cool, while running, this summer.


1. Stay hydrated
Consuming enough water before, during and after running is essential. If not sufficiently hydrated the body will effectively 'sieze up' and stop.

Make sure you have good access to water when out running. There are various ways of doing this :

  • Take water with you in a water bottle.
  • Carry a collapsable cup and use publicly provided water, e.g 'Drinking fountains for London'.
  • Carry money and buy water or energy drink as required.

2. Run during cooler times of the day
If your routine allows, running either early in the morning or later in the evening is a much more pleasurable option. As much as possible, avoid mid-afternoon (12 - 4pm) temperatures.

3. Run in shaded areas, preferably near water
Whether it's trees or buildings, running where they provide shade makes for a much more pleasurable run.

If you can, run close to water, on grass or trail paths. Beside streams and rivers there is often a cooling breeze. Avoiding tarmac, which retains and radiates heat, is also preferable.


4. Wear loose, light-coloured clothing
Lighter coloured clothing will help refect sun's rays away from you, compared to dark colours which absorb heat. Loose-fitting garments also help, creating a cooling breeze against your skin as you run. This allows sweat (and heat) to escape. Also, avoid cotton clothing as much as possible, wearing moisture-wicking fabrics instead.

5. Wear appropriate headwear
The head loses a lot of the body's heat. So don't cover it with inappropriate headwear. Avoid covering it with a 'buff'. And if you wear a cap, make sure it's held on with a band or material that allows the skin to 'breath'.