Any benefits running during Heat Advisory? (Read 121 times)


Overweight per CDC BMI

    I normally get up and run early in the morning to beat the heat. Yesterday I needed to get the kids out of the house and did a 9-mile run while pushing a stroller. The heat index was between 95 and 100 which I got an alert on my phone during the run about the Heat Advisory. I stayed well hydrated and was also pouring cold water on my back but I have to admit I was very exhausted with a headache the rest of the day.


    Given how I had extra resistance pushing the stroller and the heat affected me the rest of the day, did that help benefit my training or was it not smart? I guess my question is if the long run in the humid heat could be similar benefit to a flat-lander training at high elevation? We are having Heat Advisories issued basically every day this week so should I run in early hours or at lunch time for more training benefit?

    Memphis / 37 male

    5k - 20:39 / 10k - 44:59 / Half - 1:36:58 / Full - 3:38:10


    Half Faster Runners 2023

      Running in a heat advisory puts more strain on your body. Run early. That headache the rest of the day is a likely a sign your body didn't tolerate it well. You will acclimate to heat and there are reasons to acclimate for heat if your race day is going to be in a really hot locale, but generally, the stress isn't worth it.

      Half Fanatic #9292. 

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      Overweight per CDC BMI

        I definitely didn't expect a Canadian to be the first to respond . Yes, the exhaustion and headache the rest of the day was enough of an annoyance the rest of the day to make me not run my long runs in that heat. I normally do avoid it since I am an early riser and can tolerate the 6am temps of 78 F with 98% humidity. I also head straight for the pool to cool off.


        What you are saying makes sense that if I was running an important race in the heat, like the recent marathons at the Olympics, then heat acclamation would be beneficial but not really going to give me a boost for later races in cooler weather. I am thinking maybe 3-4 miles at a moderate pace in the high heat would be better than missing a day in my schedule when things come up but I shouldn't plan to do "heat training" if I don't have to.

        Memphis / 37 male

        5k - 20:39 / 10k - 44:59 / Half - 1:36:58 / Full - 3:38:10

        Half Crazy K 2.0

          I wouldn't call it a benefit, but a few runs in awful heat & humidity should give you an idea of how much it effects you. If you wind up racing in those conditions, then you have an idea of how much you need to slow down.



            Running in high temps with more humidity than usual (all relative) can provide some training adaptations similar to altitude training (heat increases blood plasma instead of total red blood cells).  That said, safety is paramount; you're not going to reap any benefits from heat exhaustion or being chronically dehydrated.



            Treat hot runs as workouts - give yourself recover days between hot runs, and even a slow, short run in 95 degrees is not actually an "easy" run.

            Not running for my health, but in spite of it.


            Interval Junkie --Nobby

              Going to echo Kilkee: if done for a sustained amount of time (2-weeks min), you will gain adaptations.   This will help you in any race where shedding heat is an issue . . . which will probably be any race above 50F.  For whatever limited benefit it conferred, I would suit up in every piece of sweat-gear I had, and run my last 2.5weeks of marathon training in it.  Whether this just gave me a psychological way of dealing with race jitters, or helped with heat management, I really cannot say -- but I'd do it again.


              It's worth reiterating the safety message, though.  If your body hates you, there might be a good reason.

              2021 Goals: 50mpw 'cause there's nothing else to do

                I like the heat.  I like running in the heat and have minimal challenges with it.  Hottest marathon I ran had a starting temperature of 92*.

                (Yes, I'm slower when I run in the heat).


                However, what concerned me most in your message and the reason for my response... were your kiddos ok?  They can also overheat, I presume, even while riding in the stroller.


                I'm a simple man that thinks in simple terms.  My blood likes to be "98.6*".  If there's ever a chance for my blood to go higher than 98.6, I take preventative measures such as running in the shade, putting water / ice on my head, slowing down.  The 'fever' from running in the heat is worthy of acknowledging before you run in that heat.  For me, it's management of blood temperatures.

                Life Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do

                #2: Enjoy life



                John Wood

                  I’m going in on the side of it does help. Just be prepared to handle the heat. I’ve been running every day around lunch time for the past 10 years. I think the every day aspect makes acclimating easier, so that when the real heat hits, the body is ready.


                  I do get in the habit of weighing myself before and after each run to check water loss. On really hot days, I carry water, but rarely drink it, just use the bottle to douse my head. Hydration is all done through the morning.


                  Now that I’ve retired, I’m heading out a bit earlier, but it’s still mid to upper 80’s with a heat index of close to 100. The biggest gain I think I get is that once fall race season comes, runs just feel so much easier. 

                  So, it may just be a mental edge, but I would think there is a bit of a physical increase also.


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                        Running in high temps with more humidity than usual (all relative) can provide some training adaptations similar to altitude training (heat increases blood plasma instead of total red blood cells).  That said, safety is paramount; you're not going to reap any benefits from heat exhaustion or being chronically dehydrated.



                        You should be able to get these benefits from "short" easy runs of about an hour done several times a week.  It takes 2-3 weeks to get heat acclimated.  Save the long runs and quality workouts for cooler times of the day and cooler days.

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                          My first thought, if it was too hot for you what about the kids in the stroller? Secondly, to go from cool morning runs to suddenly doing one in the afternoon heat did no give your body a chance to acclimate to running in heat. So doing short runs on hot days will help you adapt for longer runs or even a race in high temperatures. Another benefit is sweating helps to eliminate toxins from the body. I weighed myself before and after on a long run on a 90 degree day and despite drinking a large 32 oz. bottle of water I took with me I found I lost 7 pounds! I am sure hardly any of that was fat burning, just water loss from sweating! So dehydration can be a concern and maybe the source of your headache. Best on long hot runs to arrange you have access to plenty of fluids. Another thing is to be cautious about sun exposure. Typically in the summer I run shirtless and if it is in the direct sun a good plan is to spray some sunblock on exposed skin. I get quite brown, but if you are pale I'd be careful.

                          Slow and steady win the race


                            I am 74.  For 2 yrs now, because of Covid and gyms, I run outdoors at sunset (not an earlybird) rather than on a treadmill .   Living in Vegas this requires most runs in summer at over 100 degrees.  I found that I become acclimated in a couple weeks  but much slower due to heat.  These efforts are worthwhile in that on cooler days my pace quickens a lot with the same perceived effort.   So I know that I gaining fitness on the slow, short, hot runs.   I hand carry a small water bottle with a strong mix of Jianas electrolytes,  and be generally well hydrated in the hours before starting.


                            I've had no problem since realizing that I have to slow the pace a lot in heat, like I have to do running hills,  and trust that I am gaining fitness for fall/winter runs.... .


                            When it is humid due to monsoon conditions I do not hassle with it if hotter than 99 or 100... the effort is too much for me to get into.  By the way, the hottest dry one was at 111.  Over that I can't get into it.


                            Thanks for this Interesting topic.


                            Overweight per CDC BMI

                              I think running in the morning heat all summer had a benefit much more than an exhausting afternoon run during a heat advisory. In Memphis, we regularly have morning low temps at 75-79 degress with 95-100% humidity and that is the best running weather you will get unless you use the treadmill indoors. I feel like building a consistent routine this summer of running in these conditions really helped me once the cool weather hit in Sept as I recently set a new 10k PR by a large margin when we had a cool 62 degrees on race morning. As others have said, working the heat into your routine will help but a random hot run hear or there isn't going to make much of a difference.


                              As for my kids during my heat advisory run, they were fine and the only relevance they had to my background it that I was pushing a stroller during this run for even more resistance. Most of the run was on a shaded green-line with my 7-year-old on his bike. We stopped every mile for a water break and he had a much easier time than me. My 2-year-old was shaded in the stroller with a hood-thing covering him and fell asleep for at least an hour. He wasn't even sweaty when he woke up.

                              Memphis / 37 male

                              5k - 20:39 / 10k - 44:59 / Half - 1:36:58 / Full - 3:38:10


                                Long runs in the humid heat have some similar benefits to flat landing training at high altitudes, but they're also different. Exercising in humid high temperatures can improve the body's tolerance to thermal environments, the ability to regulate body temperature, and increase blood volume; while landing training on flat ground at high altitudes can improve cardiopulmonary function, increase the number of red blood cells, and increase oxygen intake. Because the adaptability and training effect of the two methods are different, you should choose the exercise method according to your own physical condition and training goals.

                                Regarding the time for running in a high temperature environment, exercise should be performed in a cooler time period as much as possible, and avoid long-term high-intensity running exercises during high temperature periods. Morning or evening hours are more suitable choices to avoid exposure to high temperature periods and high-intensity exercise. If exercising during hot hours is a must, take appropriate sun protection and moisturizing measures, and pay attention to replenishing water in time to avoid dehydration.

                                I always have my BP Smartwatch with me when I go out for a run. It can monitor heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, and blood oxygen in real time, allowing me to understand my health status. With its help, I can adjust my training plan in time