Running in the heat

It’s been super-hot in Madrid recently. 35 degrees plus (that’s over 95F!) and a blazing sun. And its only going to get hotter. Lots of advice on exercising in hot climates tells you just to get up earlier. If it’s boiling by 7am, get out there and do your run in the sunrise hours. IMG_5376 Well, that’s all very well if you are training for a winter race, or just running for fun. What about if you are training for an afternoon triathlon, in Madrid, at the end of June?! Yep – I need some hot weather practice. IMG_6964 Below are some tips I’ve gleaned from reading various blogs and my own experiences. It’s more a reminder for me really, and of course let me know if you have any tips of your own!!! Help always much appreciated 🙂

1. DRINK!!! And not just water. (Not alcohol either!) Have some kind of electrolyte / sports drink. You lose a lot more through sweat than you would when its cooler and the couple of times I have been out on a long bike ride with just water, I have quickly noticed how tired and drained I become. Take more water than you think you’ll need, and try to run somewhere with shops to pick up an extra bottle, or drinking fountains.IMG_7359 Madrid is really good for that as Casa de Campo park is filled with water fountains, and the anillo verde cycle path that runs around the city has loads dotted all the way along the track. It’s incredibly useful!

2. On that subject … don’t go out dehydrated. Going for a run with a hangover in the light drizzle is pretty wonderful and a great hangover cure. But even when you think you’re recovered, going for a run in the blazing heat after a hangover is NOT a good idea. Make sure you’re fully hydrated first 🙂 IMG_6643 3. Wear light, loose clothing. Or barely any clothing. I bought some fantastic summer kit from Kalenji from a shop called “The cheeky cousin of Decathlon”. It’s super-light, even the t-shirt, looks cool and was pretty cheap. Wins all round 🙂 I also won’t run anywhere in the heat without my visor. Keeps my hair from sticking around my forehead and keeps the sun away from my face. IMG_7038

Kalenji orange vest and the free visor I got with my flipbelt 🙂

4. Start slow. I can’t just make all of my runs in the heat slow runs, because I’m hoping to run a good time in my triathlon. But what I can do is make sure that my first few runs (and cycles) in the heat are not about pace or time, but about heart-rate (keeping it to less than 80% of max). It’s like anything, you have to get used to it. So give your body time and don’t get too frustrated if you’re slower at first. IMG_6261 5. Try and run somewhere with shade and interesting scenery, so that it is not so relentless. Then you can just enjoy how fantastic it is to be running in shorts and a tank, with the sun on your arms and the breeze in your hair (the smell of freshly cut grass etc etc). Try not to spend the whole year complaining about how it is too cold, then too rainy, then too hot, then too windy. Enjoy the fact it is not winter! IMG_5715-0IMG_5875

Takes a lot longer to get ready for running in the winter!!!!

I also came across this video today – not about running, but contains some useful tips for long cycles in the heat.

And one final tip from the wonderful Baz Luhrmann

Juneathon day 9 … still ill. Woke up to go swimming but on getting out of bed I felt dizzy and exhausted, with shooting pains in my tummy … so got straight back into bed and dosed for another hour. Decided against doing anything at lunch time in the hope I’ll feel better tomorrow! So today’s Juneathon activity will involve walking and a bit of stretching. Today’s post was a Tuesdays on the Run link up hosted by Patty, Erika and April.



  1. Haha, I remember that Suncreen song. All of the ‘cool’ people at school used to listen to it all the time and pretend they were really deep thinkers or something 😉

    I really like your point about gaining a sense of perspective when it comes to the heat. The winter weather doesn’t bother me as such, but even though I struggle so much in the summer (and it hasn’t even hit 20 degrees here yet!) at least I don’t have to worry constantly about the pavements being iced over.

    I’m always jealous when I see guys out running with just shorts and no shirt on, because sometimes even a crop top seems too much when it’s really hot (and oh, the chafing!) I allowed myself to get far too dehydrated in Sunday’s race and paid the price by being ill for the whole of Tuesday, having tried to drag myself through it on Monday. I really need to get my hydration strategy sorted out!

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