Monday, 11 July 2011

Running in the summer

Running through a grassy meadow in the chalky Chilterns

Since I have been running over the last couple of years, I've come to appreciate the different seasons we have here in England even more.  I plan to do a blog post on each season but only when the season itself comes.  So, it is summer right now, here's my observations of running at this time of year.

I can't think of any reason why I shouldn't like running in the summer apart from the obvious question of heat, too much sun and the risk of dehydration.  Apparently dehydration of just 2% equals a 20% loss of performance - if you start to feel thirsty you are dehydrated.

As I tend to run early in the morning and occasionally in the evening, the risk of overheating is small.  There are, however, so many other compelling reasons to enjoy running in the summer:

  • In early July there's enough light to run for 16 hours a day, perhaps more.  That opens up lots of possibilities
  • The countryside is at it's peak - especially grasses as this shows me running through mature grasses in the Chiltern Hills - particularly lovely when they're wet with dew
  • I like the hazy pastel colours in certain conditions
  • Hedgerows are full of flowers
  • At dusk I love the sensation of running into those pockets of cold damp air and then out the other side just a few seconds later
  • I like the warmth and yet appreciate the cooling properties of modern technical materials
  • Seeing insects buzzing around flowers
  • Summer rains - especially after a long hot spell - sometimes you can almost smell the rain coming.  When it does it's so invigorating
  • It's nice to explore new paths, trails and other routes at this time of year
  • Saves money - why pay a gym membership when you can exercise and run outside?
  • Most of this applies to cycling as well!

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