Daffodils are blooming and the evenings are getting longer, after the seemingly never-ending winter, spring is finally here.
Whether you've been running all winter, whatever the weather, or retreated inside to the treadmill our spring running guide has everything you need from tips to the best gear and hydration to make the transition to warmer weather smooth and injury free.
- Clear blue skies one minute and pouring rain the next, spring is known for its unpredictable weather so don't get caught out and left with wet, uncomfortable fabric. Try a water-resistant yet breathable jacket to keep rain out without trapping sweat in.
- Your underwear on a spring run can make all the difference, and we're not just talking bras, this goes for men too. Avoid cotton to reduce your risk of chafing and an uncomfortable run.
- Ladies, when choosing your perfect sports bra look for added mesh ventilation to keep cool.
- Spring is all about the start of shorts weather, unless you tend to get very cold. If you're worried about chafing, go for a 2-in-1 short with a tight inner short and a looser layer over the top for extra coverage. Good running shorts will have either a mesh liner or built in underwear.
- If shorts aren't your thing, then full-length or 3/4 length running tights can help keep you cool, choose lightweight or thinner fabrics that are quick-drying and breathable. It's safe to say you can pack your thermals away until next winter.
- Staying hydrated on a spring run is vital, especially if you're heading out on a long run. With the rise in temperature you're more likely to become unknowingly dehydrated.
- From handheld water bottles to hydration belts that sit comfortably around your waist to hydration bladders there's no excuse for not taking water with you. All ergonomically designed, these products are perfect whatever your distance.
- A good cap or visor will keep the sun (and rain) off your face, the sweat out your eyes; look out for loose-fitting, mesh panels at the back.
- If you run in the early morning or late at night when it's still cooler try a hat or headband to keep your ears warm as it gets cooler. Go for technical fabrics like fleece to ensure your hat is sweat-wicking and breathable.
- Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays is vital whether you're out for a short run or a marathon. Ensure your sun cream or sun block protects against UVA and UVB rays as well as a high SPF.
- It also needs to be waterproof, and ideally windproof. Sweating off your sun cream is not only likely to give you stinging and watering eyes but it doesn't do your skin much good. Sport sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide to provide extra protection regardless of how much you sweat.
- Don't forget to apply it to your lips too.
- Like your sun cream your sunglasses need UV protection.
- Go for sunglasses with grip on the nose to ensure they don't slide down your face.
- If you're running in poorly lit areas at night or early morning such as out on trails or through parks, consider a lightweight running head torch to not only safely see the route ahead but be seen by other road and trail users.
- Don't let hayfever get in the way of enjoying your run.
- If you suddenly find yourself struggling more than usual mid-run, it could be hayfever hitting hard. Hayfever can affect your breathing, both from your chest and through your nose, impacting on your cardiovascular performance. When your immune system is working overtime your body is often more tired and your concentration can be lacking.
- If you're a sufferer stay away from areas of high air pollution and high vegetation like parks and trails.
- Although the clocks have gone back and the days are getting longer it's still important to stay visible to stay safe when running in low light. High visibility is a must whether it's reflective detail on your jacket and shoes or reflective bibs and strips to flashing LED lights.
- Choose the option you're most comfortable to make the most out of your spring run.