Summer Heat Running


Coach Kelly Svihovec and Coach Dave Gross of Triangle Run Smart Training share below some very helpful info for running and training in the heat & humidity of Summer.

Given our current heat wave this week, let's consider hydration and the following tips:


We've settled into our warmer and definitely very humid summer weather which means to pay more attention to your perceived effort and less to PRs and paces.  The key weather indicator that we want to look at in adjusting our pace is: dew point - that takes heat AND humidity into account.  Here is more information on the impact dew point has on us runners.

And to help you determine how to adjust your pacing, here's a temperature/pacing calculator.  Enter the dew point, temperature, your goal pace, running distance & type of run (easy, tempo, or race).  Check it out before an upcoming run to get a more accurate pace goal and please note that having to run slower is NOT actually making you slower.  You're putting in MORE effort in tough weather conditions and your fitness is improving exponentially.  And your body will adjust some as you get more used to running in humidity.  You might still not enjoy it per se, but you'll get better at handling it in terms of your breathing, recovery, & pace.  :)

What can we do in addition to adjusting our pace and performance expectations?  We can work on getting our body temperature down, since as it rises, our pace and performance decrease:

  • Pre-cool - consider taking a cool/cold shower before a hot run, drink a cold, icy beverage beforehand, use cool washcloths on your body ahead of time
  • During run - refrigerate or freeze your hydration beforehand so it's cool when you drink it, aim for a shady route (if running during daylight hours), wear light & wicking material, bring a cold washcloth or buff for your natural radiators (palm of your hands and forehead but not the back of your neck).  Don't skip electrolyte replenishment
  • After (for recovery) - cool/cold shower, cold hydration, cold washcloths, and get in an air-conditioned environment as soon as possible out of the heat.


To read up more on the science behind hot weather running, check out this article.


And for some good information on the "what & when" of summer hydration, check out this article.


Stay cool, safe and enjoy your run!

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