As summer approaches it usually means longer daylight hours filled with wall to wall sunshine, but in the Lakes (District) it just means we have some sunny spells in between our showers and therein is cold rather than really cold!
Seriously though I've had some really bad weather days in August and September where if unprepared you can easily be caught out, take early August during the Borrowdale Fell Race a few years back, the weather was terrible and it even put down a little hail - in the middle of summer, I was so cold I had to pull on my waterproofs to keep some heat in.
This is why when heading out into the hills during summer I still carry a lot of what I carry during Winter obviously on a scaled down version depending on the forecast and how sunny a day it is. If planning a long day out I always check the forecast, although the weather can change pretty quickly it's nearly always on the right wave length and gives you a rough idea what you'll need in your bag.
Here's a list of what I'll carry, it's not exhausted but I'll chop and change as the weather suits:
As the racing season has well and truly begun my focus now switches to some of the bigger races during summer. Its been 11 months since I underwent hip surgery to repair a problem I'd had for over 4 years and I've increased my training load and training intensity over the months making sure I've kept it controlled as not to aggravate the hip (which has happened on a few occasions).
The plan is to keep any racing for this year under 50 kilometres and focus on bridging the gap between marathon and ultra distance and see how the hip handles it.
I've found during my return to full fitness that speed is the most difficult to get back especially when trying to improve strength and endurance at the same time, so in the coming weeks I'll be focussing a little more on getting some speed back and trying to hit the local track a few times - which I haven't done in a long time!
One thing I have learned during injury is that core and stability work is or should be a big part of any runners training, it's a bit tedious at times but it's what helps prevent injuries and keeps the core strong, at the end of the day its where all your power output comes from.