My husband and I just completed a long road trip from Colorado to San Diego

But what could be worse than your car breaking down while on a road trip visiting relatives! Time with relatives and friends is a time for fun, not dealing with the stress of getting your car repaired.  

Next time we remember to check off car maintenance items before we leave home!

Anyway, we had just enough time to enjoy the sun and sit by the pool and soak in the humidity. It was 90 degrees and very humid. 

Heat and humidity – a challenge for running

The heat and humidity are the most challenging weather for running. If you don’t adjust your pace, your running will suffer. 

You need to run slower than usual in extreme weather. There is no need to drop out because of heat exhaustion. 

When you run in the heat and humidity, you can experience issues because your body temperature and dehydration increases. 

The body will not perform as well in the heat as it will in colder environments. 

A significant portion of the body’s blood volume is at the body’s surface to facilitate cooling, leaving less blood available for carrying oxygen to the muscles. 

While racing and training in the heat, it is essential to avoid overheating and dehydration, each can occur separately from the other. 

The humidity is most difficult for runners. The convection cooling happens in dry climates, but not in moist environments. Change your training and racing plans to accommodate your weather.

How to Beat the Heat and Humidity

  1. Drink lots of fluids: Bring a water bottle and a sports drink or salt tablet to replenish the salt your body will lose. You might get cramps because of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, among other things, if you don’t hydrate properly.
  2. Increase salt intake: If you run in a hot, humid environment, then consider increasing the salt intake of your total diet. That way, you ensure you are maintaining proper sodium blood levels.
  3. Slow down: Running slower when it’s hot will limit overheating and likely result in a better day of running.
  4. Clothing: Wear breathable, and lightweight running apparel with light colors. Make sure the fabric is moisture-wicking. Use sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen for that extra protection. And remember, when you sweat more than usual, there is more friction, which can cause chafing. It is painful, and if untreated, can affect your training. Read more about chafing prevention for runners.
  5. Timing: Run early morning or late evening. Avoid training in extreme heat because your fitness will probably suffer.
  6. Route: Try to run in parks or covered trails with shade and trees that block the sun. Running in built-up areas is even hotter, as concrete and asphalt absorb heat.
  7. Check your heart rate: When it’s hot, your heart rate naturally increases. You can imagine that when you run even slowly in the warm weather, what happens to your heart rate. Use a sports watch with a heart rate monitor, so you can monitor yourself and see when to take a more moderate pace.

Hot Weather Running Tips from Runohio.