As a runner, running in humidity is a bog concern. I prefer running in the cool weather than running in the hot one. Also in the summer, I tend to wake up 1 hour earlier to run or wait till the sun sets to move my body. It is because when I go running in peak times, from around 7 to 9 a.m., the heat is too hard to bear.
Like temperature, another factor which also affects my performance in running is humidity. Humidity makes us feel comfortable, prevents us from cooling naturally when running and increases the level of blood flow to drop.
Let’s examine in more detail the impact of humidity towards running as well as some tips to run more effectively under humid air.
Why can humidity affect the running performance
Normally, when we run, we tend to sweat a lot. This is a sign to show that your body is actually in the cooling process.
When the levels of humidity in the air are high, there are a lot of excessive water molecules in the air. And when we run in a hot humid air, we will also sweat a lot. However, because there are already a lot of water molecules in the air, it is very hard for the sweat on your skin to evaporate. These sweats continue to stay on your skin, thus, prevent yourself from cooling.
Additionally, when our body cannot cool down properly, it will not be able to transfer blood to the skin. When it tries to do so while you are working harder, the level of blood which flows to your skin will drop dramatically and then your heart rates will rise significantly. That’s why you will experience heat cramp or heat exhaustion.
In addition, in the hot and humid day, you will find it really hard to breathe normally. As a result of less oxygen intake, your body will struggle to deliver blood to all parts and organs of your body. This can make you feel tired quicker and in a more serious level than when you run in normal condition.
Besides impacting your body physically, running in humidity also affect your overall performance. In details, when the levels of humidity in the air are very high, from about 60 to nearly 90 percent, you may feel more tired in a shorter time than you normally are. Furthermore, you will not run as far as when you go running in days with lower humidity. For example, when you run in humidity for about 8 minutes, you can only run for the distance you normally run in 6 minutes.
Running in Humidity Tips
Keep Yourself Hydrated
It is very important that you supply your body with plenty amount of water. Specifically, you need to drink water frequently, preferably 20 to 25 minutes of running time.
Wear comfortable clothes
Remember to choose high quality material which does not keep your sweat inside its layer. Also bright colors tend to absorb less heat from the sun than dark colors. Besides, you may need to wear specific sunglasses with polarized lenses to protect your eyesight as well.
Stop Worrying About Pace
When you run in hot and humid days, you will need to focus on your breathing as well as your comfort. In fact, they are much more important than the pace at which you often run in days with lower level of humidity. Therefore, you don’t have to keep up with your regular pace, just choose one that you feel comfortable with.
Change Your Time of Running
It is better if you can run early in the morning and later in the evening. Because it is when the temperatures drop lower. Keep in mind that the very early morning will be very humid.
Also before you go out for a run, remember to check the relative level of humidity to plan your running session accordingly. Another factor that you need to check to make sure you feel comfortable when running is the dew point. Actually, the lower the number is, the less dense you feel about the environment around you.
Change Your Place of Running
If you often go running outside, consider moving to run in a treadmill in an air-conditioned room for a change. In case you still want to run outside, choose a route with a lot of shadows and trees. However, running into the wind is a good choice to enhance your body’s cooling process.
Always Pay Attention to Early Sign of Heat Stroke and Other Problems
Whenever you feel headaches, dizziness and losing focus, you should stop running gradually. Then find a shadowed place to rest and drink more water. In case you still feel unwell, you will need to consult your doctor immediately.
Your Body Will Adjust
Don’t worry if you feel uncomfortable while Running in Humidity when the summer has just come in. The reason is your body will adapt to the change in the weather and it can cool down more effectively.
In conclusion, it is not convenient at all to run in hot humid summer days. Sweats will linger on your skin and you will risk yourself to get overheat. Therefore, it is very important that you follow these tips mentioned above so as to avoid running in humidity and facing its impacts as much as possible.
In short, you don’t have to stop running. Just remember to choose a more suitable time, place and plan your session of running when the levels of humidity are low. Furthermore, you should drink more water and wear comfortable clothing. Sooner your body will adapt to the high humidity. And you will see your performance improve over time regardless of how much moisture there is in the air.