Running in the Heat --- The Do's and Dont's --- Ryan has hot tips!

Posted on June 25 2020

Running in the Heat --- The Do's and Dont's --- Ryan has hot tips!


It can be a tough time of the year, when its above 30 degrees and 85% humidity. You can be tempted to just give it up and wait for cooler times..... 
It doesn't have to be that way and with some sensible precautions and plan your runs it is still possible to run.

We asked our Gone Running/Joint Dynamics Team Mate Ryan Whelan for his tips on how he handles the heat. Great time to ask, as he just completed a staggering 226 kms last week in the RUN HK Virtual Challenge to help the Gone Running/Joint Dynamics team secure second place. The event has so far raised over $465khkd and you can still contribute HERE 

Incidentally, Ryan is also one of our coaching staff and if you need some help structuring your training, he is your man. Here is the link to the coaching site.

But back to the heat. This is what Ryan had to say!

"When asked to take part in the Run.HK Refugee Virtual Challenge with my running team, Gone Running/Joint Dynamics,  I said sure, without realizing that nearly all my runs would be taking place between 9am and 5pm in the June heat. With the sun blazing through out the week -  this was going to be tough. So it made me think carefully about how to survive in this tough climate. 
With all of us staying in Hong Kong over the summer as we prepare for the 2020/21 running season, here are a few tips I would like to share to keep you safe during heat training..... 

  • Hydrate before you set off. I always make sure the body is hydrated before I set off with a big glass of cold water. This is especially important for morning runs as we wake up dehydrated. It also stops you ‘rationing’ the water you do have as you will find you won’t drink for the first half an hour or so. For longer weekend runs you can also ‘pre-electrolyte’ before you set off.
  • Ice that water bottle. If you can only get out for a lunch time run in the sun, freeze your soft flask overnight, you should have cold water for most of your run.
  • Take on more salt. You sweat more, which need replenishing. If you are not huge on salt tabs, like myself, try adding a sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt to your tailwind / flavored water.
  • Adjust your goals. You are not going to the same pace on your neighborhood route as you did in January. Instead of watching your speed, change your watch face to show your heart rate and adjust pace accordingly, especially on the climbs.
  • Plan ahead. When sitting down to plan your weekly runs, use the HK observatory forecast. Always try and fit in your harder ‘workout’ runs on the cooler / overcast days, slower recovery runs when is is hot.
  • The weekly long run. As we prepare for ultras, we need to get that weekly long run in. Take some time to plan the route before you start. If you are starting early, get the exposed climbs in early and plan to be on shaded trail by the afternoon. If it is a scorcher and going to be a very long run, plan some waterfall stops in the 2nd half and take some time to cool off.
  • Vending machines / 7/11 are your best friend. Make sure your octopus card is fully loaded and use the vending machine stops as mini check points to look forward to.
  • Hydrate is right way. After a brutally long hot run where the last kilometer feels like it takes an hour, we feel like we need 3 cans of coke, 2 Gatorades and a gallon of choc milk. First start with with replenishing the body with what it needs – Bix hydration is my preferred choice (available to Gone running). I then try to make sure I match each soft drink / choc milk with mineralized water so the body hydrates as soon as possible."
Cover photo:  Charles Mak Photography 


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