Kit for the Unpredictable British Weather

By Laura Cummings
Moody skies over a beautiful old church

The British Summer. The weather should be glorious and we should always be running in beautiful sunshine — but we all know that is not always the case!

This summer so far has brought with it a lot of rain and a lot of heat. It can be difficult to know how to dress for this unpredictable UK weather. Here are my kit tips below:

Trail running in the heat

Running in the heat is my least favourite of conditions. It’s impossible not to get too hot and the worry of dehydration sets in. Over the years I have found the following to be very useful.

  • Breathable layers – wearing thin, breathable layers is so important to allow the skin to breathe but also you can delayer or layer back up depending on the indecisive sunshine.
  • Buff – I always run with a buff around my head. In the sun this is great as you can pour water over it. The buff soaks up the water and stays damp, keeping your head cool.
  • Shorts or thin leggings – I never really run in shorts. Even in the hottest races, I wear leggings, which have mesh sections behind the knees to let the air in and my skin breathe.

I do try as hard as I can to avoid running in heat altogether, it makes it far less enjoyable for me!

Running in the Rain

Rain beading on a runner's waterproof jacket

The trickiest of weathers to dress for! You want to cover up from the rain but also stay cool. The good thing about wet weather is it takes away the risk of dehydrating too quickly as the rain helps to keep you cool.

  • Thin layers to give some protection – I tend to wear a thin, long-sleeved top if the weather is wet. Be sure to wear material that works well in the rain! No fleecy materials.
  • Thin waterproof layer – I don’t often wear one of these as mine is more suited for winter temperatures, but they are very valuable. This layer will also protect you from strong winds.

Footwear for all weathers

A lot of runners will have a favourite kind of running shoe and stick with it. I am no different! I have a favourite pair for road running and a favourite pair for trail running. Fortunately, both are pretty good for any weather.

Salomon Speedcross 5W, muddy and used Immaculate new Salomon Speedcross 5Ws, bright blue and purple

For trail running in particular I recently purchased some waterproof trail shoes for my adventure along Hadrian’s Wall. They proved to be the most valuable item I had with me! They were light on my feet, breathable, but when tested in the bogs around one of the roman forts, they held strong and I had completely dry feet! Made a nice change from cross country days in boggy trainers. These were worth the expense and I cannot recommend them enough: Salomon Speedcross 5W.

Originally published 25/09/19

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