Not to be too British about it, but right now London is HOT. HIghs of up to 37C (99F) are forecast, grass has dried up and people have been warned to stay out of the sun. It's sweaty, humid and the perfect conditions for serious chafing. Not ideal conditions if you're training for a marathon, so how do you keep moving and look after yourself in the heat? I've rounded up what I've been doing to keep moving when it gets sticky.
hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Dehydration is one of the big health risks that comes with a heatwave, particularly if you lead an active lifestyle, and it's effectively when your body loses more water than it takes in. Symptoms of dehydration can include feeling thirsty, dark smelly pee, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling tired, dry mouth, lips and eyes and peeing little and infrequently. All pretty unpleasant, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated, including making sure you drink cool liquids frequently thought the day, eating foods that have lots of water in them such as water melon and not waiting until you become thirsty to drink. Try to avoid excess alcohol, caffeine or drinks that are too high in sugar. Checking your pee is a great way to make sure you're on track - you're aiming for 'light lemonade' (which I'm sure is a Dulux paint colour).
change things up
When it feels too hot to run around outside try changing things up! Hit the pool for a cooling swim, head to an air conditioned gym to work on your strength training, or a lovely yoga studio to improve your mobility. Just because you're struggling to train outside doesn't mean you can't train inside! In fact hitting the gym or the pool can be an amazing way to escape the heat!
embrace the night
Temperatures are typically cooler at night, so why not run really early or really late? Charlie Dark shared some great thoughts on the joys of running at night in The Guardian, and I particularly like how he describes how the city changes at night and you see all sorts of things you wouldn't see during the day. Of course safety comes first, so make sure you stick to well lit areas, or even better take a friend and make an adventure out of it!
When it's hot ditch the plan that tells you you should be doing speed work (or hop on a treadmill) and slow right down. Take off your watch and go by feel, work out how your body responds to the heat and allow yourself to move intuitively. If you want to walk walk, if you want to head home, head home.
heed the warnings
The Met Office issues a series of different alerts depending on the temperatures that are forecast. At the moment a lot of England is in Amber - Heatwave Action. This means there's a 90% chance of 'heatwave conditions' and the advice is to stay out of the sun, keep your fluids up and make sure your home as cool as possible. When there's an Amber warning in place health and social care services need to take specific actions around at risk groups, and everyone else should be sensible. Should the warning go Red then the risks go up and illness (and death!) may occur among the fit and healthy.