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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
|DEW POINT (°F)||RUNNER’S PERCEPTION||HOW TO HANDLE|
|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|