Although it didn’t feel very warm today, the heat and humidity is right around the corner here on the Cape. I am going to get a head start by sharing five tips for running in the heat and humidity:
I know this one is common sense, but it bears repeating. If you can, try to make sure you have consumed about 16 oz of liquid (preferably water) before heading out the door when it’s very hot and/or humid.
Conventional rule of thumb is that you don’t really need to bring water with you for shorter runs (as in about 4 miles or less). That being said, I always bring water with me on runs in the heat. I can get very thirsty on a 3-miler, especially if I am doing speed work.
You should be fine with water up to one hour of running. After that time period, you will want to take in some electrolytes via sports drink (my favorite is the Shaklee Performance Pure Hydration drink) . If you sweat a lot (you can lose salt faster this way), you may need to replace electrolytes sooner.
Dress for your run as if it was 20 degrees warmer. It may only be 65 degrees out when you head out the door, but after running that can feel like 85 degrees. You get the picture! Lighter colors are better and make sure you are wearing fabrics that allow your skin to breathe—think performance fabrics like tech shirts. You may also want to wear a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face.
Listen to your body
When it gets very hot and humid, you will NEED to adjust your pace/effort to make sure you are not pushing your body too hard. When it’s really hot or humid, I try not to focus on my Garmin, but more on my rate of perceived effort (RPE). It’s also best not to aim for a really tough workout, perhaps try an easy run instead.
Schedule your run in the morning (or late at night)
Temperatures are likely to be at their lowest in the early hours of the morning. If you can’t run in the morning, run at night. It’s usually slightly warmer at night than early morning, since the pavement still retains some of the day’s heat. While it may not be quite as cool as the morning, it’s better than running in the middle of the day!
Notify Someone of Your Route
It’s always a good idea to let someone know where you are running and when you plan on returning. If you run into trouble, it will be a lot easier to locate you. Also, make sure you are wearing identification!!
Nathan Firecatcher Hydration Vest, Purple Cactus Flower/Tangerine Tango, One SizeNathan Thermal Quickshot Handheld Hydration with 10oz Bottle: OrangeHeadsweats Dry Visibility Performance Sport Hat Cap (Pink)