Taking part when it is hot

Athletic boy holding a bottle

If you are hosting, competing or officiating in an event when hot temperatures are forecast, please take appropriate precautions and prepare for hot conditions.

Tips when at an event

  • Please take a sun hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen for the whole event.
  • Ensure you bring enough fluids. There may be water fountains at the venue, check before arrival what provisions will be available onsite. Do not wait until you feel thirsty; drink continually throughout the day.
  • Take a small towel/flannel which can be drenched in water for cooling
  • If you can, take regular breaks from the sun during the day. Coaches and athletes – this should be factored into planning for arrival/warm up.
  • If you are going to spend time spectating or between events, bring a gazebo or tent with you as a place to shade (ensure there is plenty of space around the track you are visiting). Alternatively, an umbrella or parasol can be used.
  • Officials usually have an indoor area to congregate during free time, but get outside in the shade if this area is too hot and stuffy.

Training tips for athletes and coaches

  • Find a non-greasy sunscreen that you enjoy wearing and wear it! (sunscreen doesn’t work in kit bags).
  • Look to wear appropriately vented but UV protection kit where possible. Make sure you can perform in this kit.
  • Sun protect before you train or compete, and then focus on your performance!
  • Compare the condition of the skin on your glutes to your arms. This is a wake up call for revealing sun damage.
  • Train outside of peak UV hours (11am – 3pm) if at all possible, and seek shade for breaks.
  • Remember to hydrate regularly with water, as this will prevent overheating in summer.

Measures in place at England Athletics Championships

When the weekend’s forecast is set to be unusually hot, England Athletics put in place a series of measures:

  • A revised timetable may be scheduled and communicated directly to the athletes and the officials. e.g. longer distance track races may take place at the start of the programme when the temperature will be cooler. This will subsequently impact on all track timings so all attendees should be aware and plan accordingly. Check your emails prior to arrival!
  • Additional supplies of water will be readily available, including at the start and finish of all track events, and at water stations for field events. There will also be additional ice available all weekend.
  • Water/sponge tables will be stationed on the back and home straight for distance races.
  • Additional shelter is being provided for the athletes and officials. This includes shaded areas at all field events.

If you are organising an event

  • Check your timetable and see if longer distance races can be rescheduled to be early in the day when it is cooler. Inform athletes and officials before the day.
  • If you can, provide additional supplies of water including at the start and finish of all track events, and at water stations for field events. This can be as simple as paper cups and jugs, or signposting bottle refill taps.
  • Consider providing additional ice.
  • Water/sponge tables on the back and home straight for distance races.
  • Try to provide additional shelter for athletes and officials at field events.
  • The Sunguarding in Sport website and resource pack includes more tips, plus posters and other resources that you can use prior to or at your event.

Sunguarding Sport resource

Sunguarding Sport is a free resource produced by Sunguarding Sport /the Melanoma Fund, and supported by England Athletics. It provides guidelines, sport specific and a toolkit of downloadable materials for Clubs, athletes, officials, coaches and spectators. Topics include which sunscreen to use, type of clothing, tips on application and shade, how to avoid or deal with heatstroke, sunburn, heat exhaustion, dehydration and much more.

Safeguarding information

Find a Club or RunTogether group