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Hot tips for summer running

It’s not officially summer yet but the weather forecast for the next week or so is looking continually optimistic. We are all due to get a good dose of vitamin D it seems.  Wonderful.  It’s hotting up across the country – with predictions in some areas, of rising temperatures possibly getting above 30 degrees this weekend.  But this isn’t about forecasting the weather, its about making sure our runners make the most of it wisely and safely.

The heat is the most difficult element for runners to train in and the weather conditions can impact on performance in both the long-term and short-term.  During training or taking part in a race in the heat, your performance suffers for several reasons:-

Firstly, your overall body temperature increases. The higher your core body temperature, the worse you are going to feel.

Second, as soon as the body starts to heat up, blood is diverted to the skin, where cooling takes place through sweating and evaporation. Therefore, less blood is available to deliver oxygen to your working muscles. Less oxygen means you can’t run as fast or as hard and the effort to maintain or increase your pace dramatically increases.

Finally, you become more easily dehydrated in hot and humid conditions. When fluid levels drop, your body’s cooling methods, mainly the ability to sweat, erode and you have a harder time controlling your body temperature. This in turn causes the core body temperature to rise faster and that limits your performance.

So what can you do to help?

Choose the right running gear
Wear loose-fitting and light coloured clothing. Technical t-shirts that are designed to allow perspiration to pass through them and evaporate, may help to reduce core temperatures.

Protect yourself
Wear sunglasses, wear a loose-fitting hat or wear a visor. Apply sunscreen and a little bit of petroleum jelly (or specialist lubricating product) on the feet, under arms and in other sensitive areas help to prevent chaffing or blisters forming.

Get your timing right
Avoid running between noon and 3.00 pm when the sun is strongest. You will enjoy the fresher morning air quality if you go out early.

Pick the right route
Choose shady routes, avoiding hot roads. If you are lucky enough to run by the coast then the sea breeze will be cooling. Running by water or through the woods is also stimulating and can be refreshing.

Stay hydrated
Drinking 500ml of fluid two hours before a run is recommended – try water, a sports drink or diluted fruit juice – and another 150ml of fluid just before you run, you’ll have enough time for your body to clear what you don’t need before you set off. Getting the balance right before, during and after the run is important. It makes sense to carry some liquid with you – if you don’t like carrying a bottle you can get a running belt that accommodates bottles or wear a hydration back pack. It’s also best to avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol before runs as they increase urine output which can make you even more dehydrated.  It just makes sense to be prepared.  See our “pure hydration blog

Pace yourself and know when to stop

Start your run at a pace that is slower than usual. It will take you longer to overheat. If you feel you are getting overly uncomfortable take a rest and go into some shade. Illness caused by heat exhaustion can be serious. If you experience headaches, confusion, loss of muscular control, flushes, clammy skin or upset stomach then this could be a sign that something is wrong. If you feel any of these then STOP.
All that said, there is nothing nicer than getting out for a long scenic run on a glorious day. It promises to be a great bank holiday here in the UK so get out and enjoy it if you can. We wish you happy and safe training and look forward to seeing your entries in some of our forth coming events.

Organisers Insight – Hermes Running

David Ross – Race Director – Hermes Running says “It was a great event at Bewl Water last weekend and I hope all the participants enjoyed the experience. The sunny weather and light breezes made the conditions ideal, and I want to say well done for conquering the challenging Bewl trails. There were some inspired times across all three of the respective race distances. The men’s half marathon was won by Patrick Burke who stormed home with a time of 1:20:00, with the leading lady Penny Brook also having had a cracking run to clinch her victory in a time of1:35:15. The men’s marathon winner Benjamin Parkes cruised to victory in a stellar time of2:52:32 and the ladies’ winner Lucy Hilton set a new CR time of 3:26:14 also having had a really inspirational race.

In the ultra marathon the men’s winner Peter Summers (Handy Cross Runners) was victorious and he also set a superb new CR winning the race in 4:51:19 with the ladies’ winner Ali Campbell (Clapham Chasers) storming to victory to cross the line setting a new CR time of5:43:25. Fantastic running performances from all these runners and a great set of results from all our male / female podium winners, and to everyone for achieving a great set of results and personal goals.

I also wanted to say a big thanks to my race sponsors, the Ultramarathon Running Store, Tailwind Nutrition, Chia Charge, High 5, Steigen Socks and Profeet. The marshals from both the 1254 (Godalming) Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets and 19th St.Matthews Scouts Group, my friends and supporters, Swift Chip Timing, The Response Group Medics, DW Sports Massage Therapists, Ultimate Sports Therapist, R & R Race Photography, River Pixels and the wonderful support staff at Bewl Water who were all fantastic. Your stellar efforts and valued support of the event were really appreciated. The R & R race photographs are just being tagged and will be attached to  participant email addresses, in the interim all the Bewl Water event race photo’s can be purchased here now for £4.95 each.

Congratulations too all the UK Comrades runners that ran Bewl as a long training run for the epic race taking place on 4th June. I will be there again this year running my 13th Comrades. If any of you decide to sign up for this in 2018 please drop me a line and I will willingly help you with any advice, information or training that you need as this is a wonderful event and a truly humbling race to do.

I know some of you have already signed up for my next event in the series, the North Downs Way races on 9th July so I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks to you all for your support of my events, keep up the inspired running and no matter what goals you set yourself make them challenging, and embrace the spirit that comes from within!
Carpe’ Diem always.”

Don’t forget that the Bewl Water events were just part of the Hermes Running Series and check out the next two events – The North Downs Way on 9th July – and The Thames Meander on 12th August and 4th November

Eventrac’s founder Aaron Bird says “it’s great to hear about all the events we promote. If you took part in Bewl or any other event you would like to showcase then please let us hear your own personal experiences for our blogspot. There are some brilliant events coming up to challenge and inspire. Go for it – we will be rooting for you”

Peter Thompson and the number 44

Now 44 could be your age (yes the 40s are the new 30s), your waist size (well perhaps you could be a little trimmer), your trainer size, or if in your 70s the year you were born (and yes there are plenty of 70 year olds still running) or it could be the number of cumulative miles you ran last week. According to Wikipedia the number 44 has significance in mathematics that go beyond it following 43 and preceeding 45 (the limit of my understanding), it’s the number of laps at the Belgian Grand Prix and a quick google even turns up a definition on an Australian Blog Site that the 44 is linked to Angels and Archangels “giving us inner strength” (and that is definitely something that we runners have oodles of). Ok there are loads more sporting significances. A mere number you may say so whats the point of this blog….

This week sees the announcement that 44 was a pretty significant number for awe-inspiring Peter Thompson, from Bournemouth, who has just completed 44 marathons in 44 days in 44 countries. That’s pretty amazing and Peter – we applaud you – the force was definitely with you on this one!

Peter began his challenge on 1 April in St Petersburg and finished in Dublin on Sunday. It must have been a logistical nightmare but Peter just took this in his stride and he even managed to do his washing on the way and raise funds for two worthy charities too, Livability Holton Lee and Mind.

A recent BBC article reports “He (Peter) hoped his challenge would “encourage others to be open about mental health and, if comfortable, share their own stories…” Between each marathon he had to move from one country to the next, in “a mixture of trains, planes, buses, taxis, cars and ferries”. He said it had been the “best thing and the hardest thing” he had ever done.
The 32-year-old has raised almost £18,000 for mental health charities – a wonderful result. Congratulations and well done Peter – a truly great 44 effort!

Now I am not really superstitious (although I will run round a ladder) but writing this blog has got me the hang of this numerology thinking lark and I will definitely keep the 4s in my mind when I next run a 4 miler in training, even if I don’t spot an Angel on the way. When I need to pull something out of the bag to keep my mind strong I’ll take anything offered to keep me focussed on the end goal! In her Australian blog spot, Intuitive Writer, Joanne Warmsley says that “The Number 44 carries the doubled vibrations of the number 4, making its energies and influences magnified. Number 4 resonates with the attributes of support and stability, establishing solid foundations for the self and others, willpower and effort, ability and worthiness, hard work and achieving success, wholeness and inner-wisdom.”

Perhaps there could be something in this after all – which is why we posted this at exactly 4.44 pm!

Pure Hydration

Continuing the theme of elements (last month focussing on “earth” – ie Mud Runs), today’s blog turns to water. When you think of water you think of living! After all we could not be without it. Running round it, swimming through it, skating across it, sailing or rowing over it – water offers boundless opportunity in all its forms and dare I say it in in the company of athletes, its not half bad with a bit of gin poured over it when frozen into cubes!

I woke up thirsty this morning with H20 definitely on my mind this a very timely blog! Last weekend Hermes Running held the Bewl Water Half, Full and Ultra Marathon. Bewl is one of a series of events organised by lead organiser David Ross throughout the year and the courses circuit the reservoir that spans across the Kent/East Sussex Border. A hidden gem hidden behind woodland just off the main A21 London to Hastings Road, Bewl is not just a pretty sight – it is the largest reservoir in south east England providing drinking water for catchments across East Sussex and Kent. A superb place to circum-navigate. The three routes take in forested areas, open countryside trails overlooking the lake and along quiet country rural roads with record numbers taking part this year, loyal followers who return year on year for their Bewl fix plus many newcomers – it is a great event and you even get a medal with a fish on it! But, if you missed the “jewel that is Bewl” then don’t throw in your towel yet, you can still soak up the atmosphere – check out this Youtube video and a date for your calendar is coming very soon.

To drip feed you with an additional spot of good news – Bewl is only part of the Hermes Series journey which continues to navigate close to water as the events unfold – turning upstream this time to Surrey to follow the course of the Thames. There are two 2017 dates to choose from either 12th August or 4th November and even better a new date is about to be set for March 2018. Each date offers the option of a half or full marathon. Why not put the kettle on and check out this superb video produced by Stephen Cousins of FilmMyRun. Taking part in the marathon event himself last year – he offers great insight into the route, the people he meets on the way and gives his own honest and personal experience. His film which lasts just over 9 minutes – gives a great flavour to whet the appetite and steer you towards entry for either the August or November event this year.

What do they say – you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink! Ok so that’s enough of the watery puns – I promise. Seriously though hyrdration before, during and after an event involving strenuous exercise is important. There is a so much written about the subject it can be confusing but according to Matt Fitzgerald – author and Training Intelligence Specialist “the exercise hydration advice is in fact to drink according to your thirst. As long as you keep an adequate supply of palatable drink accessible during your runs, you will naturally drink enough to optimize your performance if you just drink as often and as much as your thirst dictates”. There are plenty of water stations on all the Hermes routes – make sure you get what you need.
Check out all the events that Eventrac has to offer – both watery and on dry land – a real cocktail of experiences to have with on us…