The sun has got its hat on! Taking care in the hot weather

With the particularly hot weather we’ve had this week it’s a good idea to be cautious about what activity we do and take care.

The heat can affect anyone but certain people are more vulnerable and you may not know until its too late.

Groups that are vulnerable include:

Older people, especially over 75, babies and young children, people with serious long-term conditions, particularly dementia, heart, breathing or mobility problems,  people on certain medicines, including those that affect sweating and temperature control, people with serious mental health problems, people who misuse alcohol or drugs  AND people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports, including hiking.

Advice for coping in the heat.

The best way to prevent problems is to:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol and make sure you carry water with you if you are travelling, walking or doing sport.
  • Stay out of the heat, particularly between 11am and 3pm, cool yourself down, keep your environment cool or find somewhere else that is cool.
  • Look out for neighbours, family or friends who may be isolated and unable to care for themselves; make sure they are able to keep cool during a heatwave.
  • Get medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes.

Public Health England have a handy advice leaflet

What about running?

Runners, particularly those training for a particular race – even if in the autumn, often don’t want to miss training and it can be quite frustrating, particularly if you don’t have access to a gym where you can train in a cooler environment.

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Do you take it in your stride?

Recently some runners have told me that they are trying to increase their stride length while they run.  Some even saying they’ve been advised to do this.

This always concerns me as I can see the injury potential so I thought it might be helpful to have some understanding about what governs your stride length and what happens when you try to increase your  stride length in the wrong way.

The length of your stride is influenced by a combination of your skeletal structure, your muscular strength, and your flexibility.  As muscular strength and flexibility decrease as people get older (if they don’t focus on strength training)  their stride length often gets shorter. New runners may not yet have developed the necessary muscular strength for a long stride. Also often overlooked is the influence of your daily activities and posture!   Trying to increase your stride length without taking into account flexibility and strength will only encourage you to over stride and strike with your heel first ahead of your hips with your knee locked out – and this is a shortcut to injury. Over striding leads to greater braking forces (so will slow you down) and excessive impact. You will tire earlier and move your legs at a slower rate. Read More »

A little run in Pembrokeshire

On 5 March I had the pleasure of joining Arry, aka dragonrun1027, on a little part of her epic 1027 mile ultra run around the whole perimeter of Wales.  Arry started out on 24 March from Cardiff Bay and her plan is to return there on 5 May in time for the official opening of the new Wales Coast Path –  having run all around Wales to get there.

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