Running in Australia is a different beast to running in the UK. Since I’m taking it easy this week to work on my IT band, I thought I’d give our non-Aussie readers a peak into what it’s like to run over the other side of the world!
Running in ‘Straya
1. Choosing your time of day is important. In Summer, it gets hot early, and dark early (about 8pm in Sydney). So you need to be quick to get that window before you’re either sweltering and running at 5km an hour, or running in the dark!
2. As a result, lots of races are either in Winter, or start really early in the morning (eg. 6.30am for the Sun Run). It’s awesome to walk through a city first thing in the morning which is full of runners and no one else.
3. Everyone will have either sunnies or a hat (see above pic). And everyone will wear sunscreen. We don’t need Baz Lurhman to remind us of this one.
4. Sweat. Sweaty sweat sweat. Depending on the part of Australia you’re in of course – Sydney is humid anyway, so throw in a run as well and you’ll be amazed at how much liquid you’ll lose!
5. It doesn’t take long to warm up your muscles!
6. Contrary to UK folklore, spiders and snakes aren’t part of a gang who wait to start wrestling matches with runners. Or humans in general.
7. There’s no hay fever to contend with.
8. You worry about hydration even more than in the UK. And it’s no joke: heat stroke and dehydration is a major risk when running in ‘Straya.
9. As it’s a city, Sydney offers mostly road races. But they are often around the harbour or right on the beach, so it’s not too hard on the eye!!
10. At the end of the beach races, there’s nothing more refreshing than running into the sea to cool down.
I have 100% acclimatised to UK running: when we were back in Sydney in March I ran a couple of 10ks, and it was like I was running in a sauna! I don’t know how I used to do it. I also ran with Gilly when she visited but ended up walking (that might have been because of the wine the night before rather than the heat – I don’t know which one’s better for my pride!).
So there you have it! As you’d expect, running in Australia is hotter than the UK, so different preparation is needed. But you’re also more flexible, and Sydney in particular is a beautiful city to run in. If you’re in Australia, check out the park runs or the Sun Herald running series to find an event near you.