This post is in partnership with SunGod.
After battling through some pretty intense heat and humidity out in Malawi for the Malawi Impact Marathon week, and a work trip to Florida right now (sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog, I just haven’t had time to sit down and write!!) I’m very aware of the changes I need to make to my running wardrobe (and attitude) to protect myself when temperatures soar.
I’ve been trying to get around it by getting up EARLY for my runs, with most of my alarms set for 5.30am for the past few weeks. This has definitely helped, however doesn’t stop me getting back from my runs dripping in sweat and needing to wring out my clothing. As I type this, the outfit from this morning’s run is literally hanging up in the shower to dry out before it gets put in a plastic bag, then in the suitcase.
Cover Your Head
I love a cap – intact I wrote a whole post on caps recently (you can find it here). I typically wear trucker caps to help the heat escape from my head whilst also protecting my face. My friend Amanda suggests wearing a a visor to really help the heat dissipate – she actually shared a really awesome blog on running in the heat and humidity here.
There is nothing worse than getting burned out on a running. I saw so many rouge bodies after the London Marathon and wondered how much that would add to their post-marathon pain the following morning. I wore factor 50 during the London Marathon, and Boston last year, choosing a sports spray suncream to ensure I was fully covered and that my sweat wouldn’t make the suncream run. There are plenty of options out there but I like La Roche Posay for my face (to avoid stinging eyes and suncream acne!).
Protect Your Eyes
My RBF (resting bitch face) is a frown, and I have the lines to prove it. One way I try to avoid this getting worse, and lets face it, look good, is to invest in sunglasses. I have quite a few pairs that are fashion sunnies, and had mostly been wearing these to run in too. Unfortunately, my Fendi tortoiseshell glasses aren’t designed for pounding the pavement and slip down my nose/fog up when I get hot and sweaty (and I’m terrified of breaking them). I ran the Paris Marathon in a cheap pair of glasses from Accessorize that were ok, but not amazing- and Tom made fun of them!
But was in need of a pair of running specific glasses, so when SunGod approached me, a brand I’d been eyeing up for years (see what I did there ?) I was keen to test out their offering. They let me design a pair of the PaceBreakers and a pair of Classics and test them out for a couple of weeks. I certainly put them through their paces in Malawi in 29C and 85% humidity…and they stood up to the challenge!
Personally, I worry that I’m not fast enough to pull off the PaceBreakers on a casual run so have been saving those for speed workouts and future races!
The thing I love most about SunGod’s is that they are customisable, meaning you can choose the lens colour and polarisation, the frame and arm design and the SunGod logo colour. I put a few designs up on my Instagram to get your help designing mine, and opted for a purple lens with tortoiseshell frame for the Classics, and Green lenses with Blue arms on the Pacebreakers. And if you get bored of the design, you can swap the lens colours!
At £65 and £85 respectively, they aren’ the cheapest sunglasses on the block, but SunGod have a lifetime guarantee on their glasses, that covers both manufacturers faults and accidental damage. If you break your sunnies, SunGod with repair or replace them for free! (although obviously if you lose them in a lake/the sea as I’ve done with many pairs of sunglasses before, then they won’t give you another pair…you have been warned!)
I wore the Classics non-stop in Malawi and didn’t have to take them off once during the race (or any of the volunteer project days) to de-fog them. Plus I wore them comfortably with a hat, which I haven’t been able to do with a lot of sunnies without them hurting my ears.
You can buy yourself a pair of Classics or PaceBreakers here or they’d make a great present for your fave running buddies!
This hasn’t been hard, and my easy pace out here hasn’t even felt that easy. I’ve noticed my heart rate sky rocketing even at 9 min mile pace. It has been a good reminder to slow right down, take the easy miles EASY rather than concentrating on the watch, and move it to the air-conditioned treadmill for the runs where I have paces that I want to hit.
There is no shame in slowing down, in listening to your body and focusing on effort rather than pace.
I’ve been running out here with my trusty Nathan Hydration water bottle (which also stores my phone and room key/bank card/car key etc), and refilling it as necessary at water fountains. I wore my hydration pack during the Malawi Marathon (as well as most of my other long runs) too. I’m not affiliated with Nathan Sports in any way, I just genuinely think their stuff is the best!
You can work out how much fluid you lose on your sweaty runs by weighing yourself pre run, then weighing yourself again when you get back (naked works best so that it doesn’t include your sodden clothes) Then you should aim to replace the weight/fluid lost with your intake during and post run. I usually take a ‘little and often’ approach to drinking water on a run, then replace fluid with water, iced coffee, chocolate milk etc when I get back. And make sure you drink enough the night before/during the day before your run so that you don’t start off dehydrated.
You can use electrolyte tablets like Nuun to help balance your sodium and electrolyte levels which is a good idea if you sweat a lot or will be out for a long time! I also just like the flavours.
I actually love summer running, having complained all winter about the cold, the rain and the snow, I’m embracing the heat (and the sports bra tan lines!). Have a great summer of running friends… x