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Central Park, New York

Keeping our construction teams safe in the heat

Plus how Central Park has featured in Rich’s road to the London Marathon 2022

As the mercury rises and the Met Office issues weather warnings, it feels timely to consider the impact of extreme heat both for our teams and clients.


It is our priority to ensure that every member of the team goes home safe at the end of the day. Environmental factors, including extreme weather, pose a very real challenge with conditions like heat stroke increasing the risk of slips, trips and falls, in addition to the risk of other heat-related illnesses.

The problem with PPE

Over the years the PPE workers’ need to wear on site has increased – and rightly so. However, whilst it’s reasonably easy to stay warm in winter, during hot weather PPE makes it harder for people to stay cool. Particularly as PPE tends not to be made of natural, breathable fibres.


During heatwaves, we work closely with our clients and operatives to ensure work plans are adapted to; mitigate the risk of working in excessive heat, sufficient breaks are allowed to keep people well hydrated and, of course, that they are protecting themselves from the sun’s rays. Yes, sun cream is an essential item of PPE these days!


When the heatwave peaks we will be out and about on-site checking our teams are staying well and maybe even delivering well-deserved ice lollies!

Impact for clients

Any extreme weather calls for work plans to be adapted; in the heat, workers need to be kept safe and activities like pouring concrete may need to be rescheduled just as they would in the harshest winter weather.


Construction projects work to notoriously tight margins and programmes which means that changes to planned work resulting from the weather will likely create additional time and cost pressure for our clients.


We should keep in mind that this comes at a time when construction firms are working hard to recover from pandemic losses, being hit with rising operational costs and are experiencing supply chain challenges. Already we are seeing well-known firms become subject to profit warnings, seeking financial rescue packages and even filing for administration.


Inevitably, every shockwave that hits construction firms will shake the wider confidence of the industry.


In our opinion, there is a rocky road ahead for construction and, collectively, we need to prepare.

Rich hits Central Park on the road to London

In the latest update on his marathon training, we catch up with Rich’s activities over the last month as he continues training to run 26.2 miles in aid of the construction industry charity, The Lighthouse Charity.


If you’ve missed previous updates you can read them here.


At the time of writing, Rich is 6 weeks into the London Marathon advanced training plan and things are about to start getting serious!


Here’s what he had to say when we spoke to him about how things are going so far.

How was running in New York?

My recent trip to New York saw blisteringly hot temperatures, humidity and 17-hour days of sightseeing. I managed a couple of runs in Central Park but I can’t say I was best prepared for them! 


That said, Central Park is a great place to run and you’re never short of other runners for company.

Things are hotting up – how’s the training going?

Much like the projects our teams are working on, I’ve had to adapt the plan recently to allow for the sudden arrival of hot weather. My focus has switched to keeping things ticking over whilst maintaining good diet and hydration.


I’m 6 weeks in with 11 still to go which means that ‘time on my legs’ is going to start ramping up. My longer runs increase by a mile a week meaning that in 6 weeks I’ll be up to long runs of 20 miles. That’s around the point I’ll start to taper.

richard allen london marathon training in central park, new york

It can be hard to get your head around the fact that you don’t actually cover the full race distance until race day. You have to trust in the plan that you’ll have the final 6.2 in the tank when it really matters.


As it stands my Parkrun times are coming down (a good indication that my fitness is going in the right direction) and I’m not carrying any injuries or niggles. Long may it continue!

What’s going on with your kit, diet and hydration?

Over the course of the training plan I’ll cover around 450 miles. It’s easy to be tempted to wear running shoes until they fall apart but, just as with site PPE, you can’t expect to stay injury free, and therefore on track, wearing worn out shoes. Typically I change my running shoes every 400 miles so I have a couple of new pairs that will see me through training and race day. 


In terms of diet, I’m taking a pragmatic 80/20 approach. Knowing that making good choices most of the time allows me to forgive myself for occasionally making less than ideal decisions. After all, we are in the midst of BBQ season and it’s not good for your mindset to totally deprive yourself.


Staying hydrated is a critical part of recovering from training sessions. Ideally, you should always carry water in the heat but personally, I tend not to if I’m running less than 5 miles. On longer runs, I’ll use a hydration pack and add some Tailwind to the water. All runners have their preferred approach to hydration/fuelling for longer runs. I don’t get on with gels but have found Tailwind suits me well, providing the carbs, electrolytes and minerals I need to fuel a long run and aid my recovery, without any of the unwanted side effects you can get with some other products. 


Actually – that’s another good business lesson. Know what works best for your business and stick with the winning formula!

Would you rather marathon train in summer or winter?

That’s a tricky one as there are pros and cons to both. 


Training in the winter can be hard going from a motivational perspective. It means long hours of training in the cold, dark or wet. 


By contrast, summer training means you have more hours of daylight to play with but equally, life tends to be busier so you need to be more organised. Not forgetting the summer training can really take its toll physically too!

How’s the fundraising going?

I haven’t really been banging the fundraising drum all that loudly so far. I’ve raised a few hundred pounds and am planning some events at The Old Bond Store in September. Keep an eye out for more information nearer the time. 


In the meantime, every donation is appreciated and no amount is too small to make a difference. Think of it as buying me a drink but for a good cause and without damaging my liver! 


To donate, simply click here, the Just Giving page is linked to my Strava so you can also keep track of my progress. 


Finally, I’d appreciate your help to reach as many people as possible. If you see posts about my training runs on LinkedIn, please comment and share. 


In advance – thank you for your support.

WhatsApp Image 2022-07-15 at 10.17.02 AM
About Author : Liz Clarke