Being in October, the Cardiff Half requires a challenging summer training schedule. We know that’s not always easy, especially if you’re new to running and are taking on your first half marathon. To help you along the way, whether your experienced or a first-timer, we’ve come up with a guide to train effectively in the heat. Don’t forget to also look out for out Lucozade Made to Move 12-week training plans which will be coming around the 16th July. So here goes:
1) Hydration, hydration, hydration
It can’t be emphasised enough. The key to comfortable running is taking on sufficient amounts of water to ensure you never dip into dehydration. Let’s take Brecon Carreg’s definitions:
“Dehydration is an excessive loss of body water and hydration means replacing that water and setting things right again.“
Simply put, you’ll have to take in as much as you lose. When it’s hot, running is more difficult and you lose more body water, so taking fluid out on every training run is imperative.
2) Avoid midday running
It’s quite obvious, but you’ll want to avoid the sun at its strongest when heading out for a run. That’ll mean earlier alarms than usual, but getting your runs done before work gives you the whole of the day to rest your legs.
The same goes for running more often in the evening. The sun stays out for longer, so there’s a larger window in your evening schedule to fit in some late-night training. Your sleep will feel a huge benefit, too!
3) Know you’ll run slower
It’s natural to run a little slower in the summer, and that’s because the sun is out, humidity is high and running conditions are generally tougher. Mentally, it’s important not to become downbeat because of that. As temperatures start to cool and the Cardiff Half draws closer, you’ll notice your pace increasing.
Physically, overdoing it in the sun will hurt more – and with that comes a greater risk of injury. With this being the 15th year of the Cardiff Half AND the first Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships, we’d hate you to miss out!
4) Make the most of the glum days
After all, this is Wales. Summer is lovely, but there’s bound to be off days! Treat those as your opportunities. If it’s mild and cloudy with a bit of rain, use that to your advantage and adjust your training plan to fit your long run in that day. If it’s forecast to be a miserable week, plan ahead and get those miles in before the sun reappears again.
5) Stay flexible
And not in the way you might think. Running isn’t just about running. You need to be fit, strong and ready to endure 13.1 miles. On the particularly warm days, head to the gym, nearest swimming pool or work out from home. Working on your overall fitness and strength is as important as regularly getting out for training runs.