By Ed Griffin
If you ran, walked, cycled or worked out in the yard Sunday morning, you noticed the change in heat and humidity. It can be kind of deflating when after just a short period of time, you feel…….not great. There is a reason and it is a good one.
Your body takes some time to adjust to the changes in heat and humidity. Believe it or not, the human body is much better at handling cold than heat. You can dress to colder temperatures and your body temperature increases as you exercise, so easy-peasy.
The heat and humidity are a different deal. The biggest issue is the increase of your core body temperature, which can have a direct impact on performance and how you feel. Dehydration is another issue, which will become an increasing issue for you if you do not get fluids.
So here are a few tips to help you acclimate to the warmer and more humid days ahead:
- Adjust your pace or time exercising. Cortland State coaching legend, Jack Daniels, believed that the optimum or top temperature an athlete could perform in, without negative impact was 69ºF. For each degree above 69ºF, Daniels outlined how many minutes you would need to add to your running time. It is all in his book, The Daniels Running Formula but this article will give you a quick glance. Don’t forget, humidity impacts real feel temperature, so an 82ºF day with 54% humidity has a real feel of 84ºF. Safe to say, if the temperature starts to soar above 70 or more, it will slow you down at some point.
- Run early or late to take advantage of conditions. Mornings are generally cooler but typically can be more humid. Evening conditions are warmer but less humid.
- Clothing can help you deal with the heat. Stay away from anything made of cotton and use moisture-wicking shorts, socks, tops, sports bras and hats.
- Hydrate all day, every day. Having fluids just before a run isn’t bad but it likely won’t be enough to sustain you during a tough run on a warm day. Find the beverages that you like to make sure you are getting in enough fluids. For your run, walk or hike, Fleet Feet has plenty of hydration options that will fit your needs. Last week, a neighbor out running stopped to tell me how much she liked her Ultimate Direction Hydration Vest!
Give yourself a few weeks to acclimate to heat and humidity and remember many factors impact your individual ability to deal with warmer days. Level of fitness, lack of sleep, viral or bacterial illness, past history of heat related issues, medications and alcohol, can all be factors.
Ed Griffin and his wife Ellen own Fleet Feet Syracuse, which they founded in May of 2000. Fleet Feet Syracuse has received National Recognition as a Top 50 Running Store in America 12 years in a row and was named Best Running Store in America in 2012. Ed enjoys helping the team at Fleet Feet and our customers achieve their fitness and professional goals. In his spare time, Ed speaks to companies and organizations on a variety of topics, walks his dogs, enjoys good music and is the family chef. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.