Couch to 5K

Running in the heat - thoughts

Went out yesterday for my first post-graduation run. It was a mixed experience. For a start, it was way too hot. I decided to go out right after work as I was going to go and see some friends later. This was the hard way to learn that running in the high temperatures of the early evening is NOT a good idea! But it was sort of deliberate - I think this could be a fine summer (fingers crossed!) and I do need to build up some stamina against the heat, otherwise it's going to be very difficult to keep going. However, I'm not accustomed to it, so I decided I needed to be sensible. I drank quite a bit of water before going out and put on lots of suncream - SPF 50, and the kids version, which is waterproof, so it wouldn't sweat off. And I went out WITHOUT Laura! I know - a first! This was sort of precautionary - I wanted to "listen to my body" (here I go, sounding like an exercise magazine...) and be aware if I was feeling light-headed, sick or over-hot - so I decided that I would just have to do without the usual distraction of the music. Plus, I usually hold my ipod in my hand and this time I really needed to take a waterbottle instead! But, I felt a bit reassured and I think it's worthwhile being conscientious - bad enough pouring with sweat running past all the sunbathers without passing out on the road! I also made a "policy decision" before going out to take the pressure off and expect to need to walk at some points. A bit of a cop out, but I knew I'd need to stop for water and take some moments to give myself a break. In the end I ran for about 30 minutes in total - I stopped and started a few times, usually for short walks of about 30 seconds, but covered about 4.5km. In fact, I exceeded my expectations - I thought I wouldn't be able to keep going for as long as I did, but it was alright. I felt a bit exhausted when I got in, so had more water and some ice tea, and I was so messy with the suncream/sweat layer that a cold shower was needed straight away! And I didn't go back to my "normal" colour for about an hour.

Will I do it again? Well, not if I can avoid it. I think I need to start planning in runs in the morning and the late evening - which is harder as the runs get longer. But, I think the 27 degree heat we are having here, nice as it is, and pleased as I was to be able to get around in it, will probably prove too much for me to be able to improve on my speed or distance in.

On the other hand...this could prove an excellent excuse to go shopping again for summer jogging clothes! What are people's must-have summer gear for running?

7 Replies

Wow! Well done for running in this weather, i chickened out on Weds and went while the sun was setting. I found that if i wear a baggy top that when there's a breeze, it flaps your tshirt like a fan! And you can flap it your self while running! haha don't know if that sounds silly but it worked for me!


Sympathise as I was out at the same time on Wednesday evening and had to sit down when I got in to recover. Stayed a horrible purple colour all evening.

Must have hot running gear - shorts. The baggier the better for me!


Wow 27 degrees is pretty warm to run in. Perhaps try a bit later on in the evening. In summer time i run at twighlight, about 8, and it is much easier and really great to unwind after a warm day. I run in 3/4 running pants (addidas) that are fairly tight and a singlet top. I had never worn a jumper while running until yesterday and found it felt a bit heavy and different, but it was 0 degrees and i knew i would regret it later if i took it off!

I envy you your summer.... it is blowing a gale and 9 degrees here...


You're a determined runner if you went out yesterday in the sunshine. I'm seriously impressed by this level of commitment. I think it's a good idea to start out with the expectation of a less intense run when the conditions are less than ideal. If you push yourself too hard in this heat I expect the consequences could be unpleasant to say the least.

I am spoiling myself this weekend by staying in a hotel with an indoor pool, so I shouldn't feel too guilty about not running...



The other problem when running in heat is that the air quality is not good at all as the fumes from traffic tend to linger lower than rising more, made worse if there is no breeze to lift the fumes. So it is a very good idea to wait until after rush hour/s are passed. Or get going first thing in a morning if you are able.

Lots to drink before and after and the sun cream is a darn good idea too.

I have my first ParkRun in the morning at 9.30 which is 2 hours later than I usually run so I'm hoping its not too warm, we won't be anywhere near 27C though.


I really struggled with W8R2 at 7am this morning and it wasn't 27 degrees at that time. I had to walk for a minute in the middle - not even a conscious decision as my legs just stopped. There was absolutely no breeze this morning (lovely one now) and I just found it like running through treacle. I was super disappointed with myself but my DD tells me not to be, running for 27 minutes is still amazing.

I've just bought capri length running tights and am thinking my next bit of summer kit will be a visor.


I must be mad, I've been getting up earlier and going out in the week at 6am!! But it has been really pleasant at that time


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