Chances are we are set for another hot summer and while we can’t control the temperatures when we run or cycle, we can make sure that what we are wearing is the most suitable and sensible for your activity ahead! You need to stay as cool as possible and keep any heat related problems at bay.
It’s all about the fabric – look for wicking fabrics rather than 100% cotton. Cotton absorbs moisture and sweat; this is going to be weighing you down (and can also cause chafing, ouch!) and not what you want when you’re running in the heat. Wicking fabric pulls moisture and sweat away from the body keeping you cooler and comfortable for longer. Remember this includes your socks, your feet will swell and sweat in the heat and you want to avoid blisters at all costs!
Lightweight and loose! – If running, choosing lighter, freer flowing clothes will not only cover you up more and shield you from the sun, but the lighter they are the more comfortable on the skin they will be. This goes for tops and for shorts, keep them free flowing to allow for as much ventilation as possible.
For those riding, jerseys with a full zip allows for temperature regulation. Jerseys with silicone grippers and the hem and sleeves help to keep the jersey or shorts in place. Cycling shorts are probably the most important piece of summer clothing. You need a pair that’s comfortable to prevent saddle sores, making your ride a lot more comfortable.
Light not dark! – Yes the colour of your clothing really matters too! Avoid black or dark clothing, these will absorb the heat and make you feel much hotter. Whites and pastels are key to reflect the sun and keep you cool.
Protect the head!
There are great ranges of hats out there with visors to protect your face from the suns rays. Make sure they are of a wicking fabric to get that moisture and sweat away from your skin.
Choose a sport specific pair of sunglasses to keep your eyes safe and to avoid any squinting when you’re running or cycling. Ensure they give you good coverage. Keep them lightweight and make sure they work for you when you run or ride; you don’t want any movement from your glasses when you’re pounding the pavements or flying downhill.
Other things to consider when running in the summer and the heat are:
- water bottles to make sure you’re as hydrated as possible on your run
- fuelling belts or bags to carry your energy gels with you and sports specific sun cream
- the right sports suncream will protect but also allow moisture and heat to escape, helping your skin against those harmful rays
Training in the warmer conditions this summer will make your autumn BM Ride, BM10k or Marathon in Brighton feel so much cooler – good luck!