Running in the Heat


As summer temperatures climb along with humidity that makes the heat index unbearable after early morning, there are a few things to consider when training in the heat.

  1.  Run early.  Run before the sun comes up.  You’ll thank yourself later.  I know this morning I decided to sleep in past 8:30 and go for a run around 9:30.  Bad idea.  It was already 80 some odd degrees and humid outside.  Let’s just say that I walked a few times. At least I ran under tree cover, but then I lost my breeze.  Either way, my run this morning was hot, hot, hot.
  2. Bring water.  Even if you’re only going for a few miles.  I sweat so much that it looks like I showered with my running clothes on.  I leave wet footprints on the pavement when it’s not raining, and I can squeeze sweat out of my shirt when I’m finished.  Gross.
  3. Slow down.  Did I mention that you should slow down?  SLOW DOWN.  You are not superhuman and don’t need to get heat exhaustion or heat stroke. No one wants to find a passed out runner on the side of the road.
  4. Consider skipping a run or running inside on the treadmill.  There I said it.  Sometimes a rest day or running indoors in the air conditioning is preferable.
  5. Rehydrate after running.  Drink plenty of water all the time so that you’re hydrated BEFORE you go on your run.  Believe me, this is something I need to remember too.

There you go!  Happy summer running!  You’ll thank yourself in the fall.

Keep this reference chart in mind from Runner’s World:

50–54 Very comfortable PR conditions
55–59 Comfortable Hard efforts likely not affected
60–64 Uncomfortable for some people Expect race times to be slower than in optimal conditions
65–69 Uncomfortable for most people Easy training runs might feel OK but difficult to race well or do hard efforts
70–74 Very humid and uncomfortable Expect pace to suffer greatly
75 or greater Extremely oppressive Skip it or dramatically alter goal

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