Posted on September 15 2021
Dodging the heatwaves, rain storms, everything in between? To be expected for the Britain-based runner. Here is a checklist for before you venture out there to brave the elements, especially (it’s worth mentioning twice) to always remember your SPF.
1/ RAIN OR SHINE = SPF is essential
You might be confronted with grey skies, but if you’re based in the UK you’ll know this can change very quickly. It’s also possible to be over exposed to the sun when it’s hiding behind the clouds, so it really is best to make it part of your routine before every run. 30 minutes before is the optimal time to apply and for it to sink into your skin, which allows it to do it’s best work in keeping you protected.
2/ HYDRATION STATION = your bff
Did you know that it takes a full hour for your body to process and get the benefit of hydration? Whilst for many running with a bottle might be a non negotiable, consider using the hour-before method and see if it makes a difference to your fitness. If we consume too much water whilst running we can make ourselves bloated, inducing the dreaded stitch and that heavy feeling you really don’t want mid-stride (it’s also great to run with free hands!)
3/ FUEL UP = benefit later
It’s an age-old debate of the when, the what, and how of running nutrition. The simple answer is whatever you discover works for YOU, your chosen route and time of day you set out on your run. Your performance and overall fitness during the run is dependent on more than just nutrition. Other factors include sleep, hydration, stress (cortisol) levels in your blood and the conditions you are running in - ie treadmill vs your local park or neighbourhood. Early riser? Banana and coffee is never a bad shout for us. Sunset chaser? Eat mindfully throughout the day with a mixture of carb, protein, fats and fibre and you’ll feel ready to run off the day.
4/ CHECK THE WEATHER + CHOOSE GEAR ACCORDINGLY
You may of been planning your next running look since the finish line of your last run, but keep an open mind and be prepared for all eventualities. Overheating can be dangerous, as well as exposure to too much cold, so do check the weather for the duration of the run you’re about to set out on. Choose cooler times of the day and if you do run in the sun, be sure to stay hydrated throughout. When it comes to rainy days, as the saying goes ‘skin is waterproof’ but avoiding heavy materials that soak up the water is also good to remember. Go for sweat-wicking, quick-drying and light weight so that you can layer up and down as needed.
5/ WARM UP = preventative and not to be missed
Keep it dynamic, AKA keep on the move. Transition between stretches with a yoga-inspired flow. Pay attention to your upper body as well as the obvious lower body stretches. When you run, it’s a full body experience that relies on an active core and glutes. Raise your heart rate and get warm before you hold longer stretches - you can do more damage to your muscles by over-stretching them when they are cold, before you’ve even clocked your first mile, which could creep up on you later on in the run.