Running in very hot weather (Read 540 times)


    I am training for my first marathon in October. Right now I am wondering how I should handle the very hot weather. Its 6:30pm at night and the temperature is 31C and with the humidex its 36 C. Think that is close to 95F. I did my 6 miles last night, but was completely dripping at the end. Should I continue to complete my work outs, reduce my mileage from 6-7 miles to 3-4 miles, or skip it all together? Thanks





      I have a similar Dilemma, it is about 86 degrees here where I live in Virginia Beach, VA.  I waited till the evening to run, but it was still over 80 degrees, hot.   I did a 10-mile run, and it was really tough.  Even walked a couple points because I was worried about dehydration.


      I think I am going to cut back on mileage in the summer.   I'll still get out there and run most every day, but not as long when the weather is hot and humid.  


      Other ideas I am entertaining are going to the gym more to do some treadmill running, but the treadmill can be dreadful when trying to do 8, 10, 12 mile runs....


      The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞


        Running in hot weather is definitely difficult.  You need to make sure you are properly hydrated thoughout the day (not just before and during running), and you need to take care while you run.  If you feel dizzy, light-headed, or off while you're running, you need to slow down or perhaps even stop.  You might also consider running in the morning, when temperatures are often cooler.


        I have trained for fall marathons in the heat of summer for 10 years now.  I live in Florida, and I run very early mornings, often before the sun comes up, to take advantage of the lowest temperatures of the day.  Even then, temperatures range between 26 and 29 degrees C durning the summer, with humidity over 90%.  And yes, even on short runs, I come home dripping wet and with squishy shoes.  I immediately shuck my clothes and hang them over the shower rod to drip into the bathtub.   I then make sure I take in enough fluids over the course of the day to replenish what I've lost.  I have a number of marathoning friends who prefer to run in the afternoon/evening, even though it's hotter (more like the 31C you ran in).  They seem to do fine, as well.


        So, I say pay attention to your hydration all the time, but particularly the day before a long run.  Make sure to take in fluids on runs lasting more than 30 - 40 minutes (when/how much depends on your body).  Pay attention to your diet to assure you're getting enough vitamins, minerals, electrolytes.


        And as long as you feel okay, stick to your plan.  If you don't feel okay, adjust it.

          I, too, am a long time Florida runner. I will second the things mentioned by alevansal above.


          I, however, am not a morning person and prefer to run in the early evenings. I can handle heat and humidity but have no tolerance for strong sun being added to the mix.


          As crazy as it may sound now, you will acclimate to the conditions. Just be smart and listen to your body.


            My recommendation is to slow down the pace and perhaps cut down the mileage. Also, is there a time of day when the weather won't impact you as much (early morning?).


            Sure, hydration is important. But sometimes it is over-emphasized (as if hydration alone would prevent you from getting heat stroke). Level of effort, IMO, is what needs to be watched closely.


            To the OP, you mentioned you were dripping by the end of the 6 miles. But how did you feel at the end?


              I'm in FL and find that my pace typically slows during the hot and humid months. Temps are lower in the morning but humidityit's usually at or near 100% before sunup, the temp is 10 or 15 degrees higher at night but the humidity is much less. I recommend trying to run either before sunup or after sunset and slowing down your pace. Also, make sure you're hydrated as others have mentioned.


              MTA: I love your doggie picture. It looks like my Cooper, a King Charles Cavalier.

                Ugh.  I just ran a tempo run this afternoon.  Left the house with the thermometer at 98 and wind at 15 mph.  Full sun.


                Only 3 miles at tempo pace, but pushed the tempo and ran about a 15 second faster pace than I should have.  That last bit of the tempo part of the run was close to race effort and I ended up walking a few times on my cool down and still never could really get my heart rate back under control.


                Was trying to get my run in while my son was at Karate class instead of waiting until later in the evening.  Don't think I'm going to do that again for a while.  It's amazing how much difference it makes if I wait until the sun is closer to sunset to get out there, the temperature isn't much lower, but for some reason the sun being low makes a big difference.

                Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

                Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

                  I run in Taiwan, which gets damn hot and humid in the summer. I choose to run in the morning to avoid the pollution levels in the evening. Where I am, Taipei, the levels are much lower in the morning. However, that's when the humidity is the highest.  I completely agree with alevansal's suggestions about keeping well hydrated throughout the day. I've also found it really helps to get out and do short walks in the full afternoon heat. It helps acclimate you to the temperatures. Also, slow your pace way down for the first month or two. It's hard work for the heart to keep you going. For me, I've also found problems when the temperatures start to drop again. My cardio-vascular system started writing checks my tendons couldn't cash. If you've got more experience than me(not hard at all) it might not be a problem for you. It could be beneficial for your training, maybe.


                     My cardio-vascular system started writing checks my tendons couldn't cash. 

                    I love this.


                      Doubles and triples can help if you have the time. Get in a few miles early am while not as hot, then late pm when it's not as hot. And if you have a gym session too, you can bookend lifting with 20 mins or so on the treadmill.


                      Keep the volume high but broken up enough so that you're not overwhelmed by the heat on too many longer runs.


                      I live in Korea and we'll have weeks at a time where the dewpoint doesn't drop below 70. After 40-45 minutes in that type of weather I'm absolutely wrecked so I generally try to limit my runs to 30-40 minutes and I will just try to do as many as I can (probably around 14-16 runs a week this summer).



                        Keep running, but slow down, freeze your water bottle before running so you can be drinking ice water, put ice bags in your hat or in your shirt. I often fill a plastic bag with ice and stick it in my sports bra. Cooling down your torso goes a long way towards making you more comfortable.


                        And I live in north Los Angeles County. Run this evening was in 94 degrees.

                          There's no problem with running when it's hot. But if you're trying to maintain a particular pace it's definitely harder when very hot. Obviously keep hydrated, but no need to get carried away. If you need water you'll feel thirsty.


                          I find hats and sunglasses just make me feel even hotter so don't use them in the heat. But obviously some people like to use them... experiment and see how you feel.

                            I just want to second the notion of running by effort level, not pace (well, and also everything else about hydrating etc., but effort vs pace is often overlooked.)  Hot and humid is just the worst for running. Give me a blizzard and 30mph headwind any day of the week.

                              I will put crushed up ice in a wet washrag. Works wonders for me. It is awkward carrying it at first, but you will soon get use to it. And of course I always wear my fuel belt full of ice cold water and/or gatorade. Crushed ice in the fuel bottles helps too. I would much rather run in the cold snowy weather than the heat and humidity any day of the week. Best of luck to ya!!

                                I've read too many race reports over the last week of people who were overly dehydrated following a race in the heat.

                                Granted, the race was an Ironman (IM Texas), with the run portion being in 95 degrees, high humidity, and no cloud cover, but....


                                I think the biggest problem for those with horror story race reports related to their lack of salt intake and nutrition and their "PR or ER" mentality combined with the fear of drinking too much and being to aggressive with speed.


                                I did that same race without any issues.  I ran the marathon slower than my goal time (by 26 minutes), but I was able to keep hydrated throughout the entire race.


                                If you're doing long runs throughout the summer in the heat, take salt tablets (220mg / tablet), and supplement it with a lot of fluid.  Also, slow down and adjust to the heat.

                                Don't be a super hero and try to prevent yourself from being overly hydrated (hypo...).  Dehydration also sucks according to people within those race reports.




                                MTA: link to the salt tablets I use

                                2017 Goals:

                                #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

                                #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

                                #3: Prepare for 2018