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Contribution thanks to

Mike Bullock

Spider Runners

It’s a hot Summer evening and I’m sat planning our latest adventure…a non-stop 24-hour race in July… a scorcher!

Hot weather affects running massively. Our ancestor’s bodies were designed to forage in the Savannah at midday, when less heat-tolerant predators were in bed, but if you’re not well adapted, heat can affect your runs. (Spider-fact…in tests, women are better at handling heat than men.)


Heat training increases blood plasma volume, and reduces dehydration, but a tiny drop in hydration reduces performance dramatically.

This causes a drop in blood pressure, making the heart work harder. As you sweat more fluids and salts are being removed from your body, causing cramps, headaches, and nausea.

  • Hydrate and pre-cool with at least 8ozs water before leaving home…try an ice-slushy pre-run.

  • Carry more water than you think you will need, in a running belt or backpack, or stashed in a hedge on your route.

  • Aim to drink 3-5ozs of fluid every 30 minutes

  • Run dry? Go to Church…many have external taps which can be a lifesaver

  • Replace lost fluids post-run


Nowadays, lightweight & wicking technical fabrics effectively remove sweat, but don’t forget to cover your head with a wide-brimmed UV-resistant hat or buff. Clothes with a UPF of 50 only allow 1/50th of the UV radiation to pass through.


Sweaty and wet feet can blister… blisters really hurt!

Shoes properly fitted at a run shop, Merino & wool-blend or dual layer socks, all help prevent the dreaded blisters.

Clock Watch

Kenyans train before the sun comes up, and I follow their lead… avoid the 11-3 slot. Early mornings also offer the best air quality.


Even if it’s overcast, use cream with high SPF and UVA rating, sunburned skin doesn't sweat effectively, so it’s harder to cool down.

Ice Cream

Yes, that’s right, in Summer we always plan routes with an Ice-Lolly-stop.

Ice Ice Baby

Water on your head works, but ice under your armpit is the quickest way to bring body temperature down.

Freeze bottles of water which can be carried in a bra or bandana, against the back of your neck… cooling as they defrost.

Distance & Route

Most training plans says Sunday is long run… but if it’s a scorcher, change your plan!

Pick a shady route, proven to reduce the temperature you feel by several degrees.

Socially paced runs with friends help you control the heat build-up, and if you start to wilt, there’s a buddy to help you out.

Hit the trails

Asphalt & concrete absorb heat and radiate it back into your face. Trails offer shade and reduce your pace.

Our next guided Run & Walk on 31st July at Rushmere Country Park is a brilliant way to do this (and we finish with cake). Details are on the Spider Runners Facebook Page:

Have a great month running in the sun.

Mama & Papa Spider 🕷🕷

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