Running in the heat and humidity! #RunWithRadio1045Johnny

We've got our first Heatwave of the year here in Philly, so, this week's blog post focuses on running in the heat and we will delay the blog post devoted to Running Clubs until (likely) next week. (Don't forget to alert me to your running club, so they can be represented!). Tweet me @Radio1045Johnny

Running in the heat (and humidity) is brutal, but if you want to keep your running fitness in tact during the Summer, you have to learn to deal with a heatwave here and there...unless your comfortable on the treadmill in an air conditioned gym. However, in my mind, a treadmill is not real running, even though it’s a fine exercise and certainly can keep you fit for running. I also always like to remind my fellow runners that enduring heatwave runs, will make runs (half-Marathons and full-Marathons) in the crisp Fall air much easier!

In order to make the most of running in oppressive heat, it’s important to make some adjustments and plan properly. So, for today’s #RunWithRadio1045Johny blog, I’ll combine my heat plan with some various expert tips!


I listed this 3 times, as there are 3 steps to hydrating for running in the heat.

  • Pre-Hydrate - You should stay well hydrated throughout the week, so your cells are fully hydrated before you even wake up for your run. If you try to drink a lot immediately prior to your run, your kidneys will flush much of it out and may also dilute your body's sodium balance.
  • The second step is bringing water with you via a hydration pack (check Camelbak) or simply carrying a water (or sports drink or combo of both) bottle with you. Make sure you have enough to last the duration of your run, and/or plan your run around areas with water fountains. Also, not a bad idea to bring some cash or credit card in case you need to pop into a Wawa to buy more water. (Note – if you are running around Fairmount Park and want to buy water from Please Touch Museum, they will charge you full museum admission to access their café, so don’t find yourself in the awkward situation that I once did!).
  • The final step is to re-hydrate after you’re done with your run. You can lose as much as 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes that you run, so make sure you get that back during &/or after you run. The Roadrunners Club of America suggests you weigh yourself before and after running and make sure you drink 16 ounces of fluid for every pound you’ve lost during the run. They also say an indication of running while dehydrated is a persistent elevated pulse after finishing the run as well as dark yellow urine. So, when you finish, makes sure you not only re-hydrate with water, but also replenish your electrolytes with a sports drink or some coconut water (unsweetened). There are also electrolyte supplements you can take if you prefer to avoid sports drinks.


For this week’s Saturday long run, I set my alarm for 7am in hopes of getting out the door before 8, though wasn’t able to lace up until around 8:20…and I paid for it the last few miles when the temp hit 87 and humidity was 56%. Ideally, I should have gotten up much earlier…but, hey, it’s Saturday! If you don’t mind an early alarm clock, your best bet is to run before sunrise. Whatever you do, avoid running in the middle of the day when the heat is most intense.


I generally run around Kelly Drive and MLK in Philly, so when it’s hot, I make sure to hit the Kelly Drive side first so I can benefit from the shade on the MLK side once the heat gets more intense. Another nice option (around Philly) is Forbidden Drive (Wissahickon) is also a nice mostly shaded option.


If you’re still running in anything cotton, it’s time to upgrade to tech shirts and tech socks. Running in heat and humidity means you will be sweating A LOT. The tech ware will draw the moisture from your body and also dries quicker. Also, good to wear a hat, especially one that absorbs your sweat, such as Headsweats


When the weather gets very humid, you should also prepare for chafing when you run, unless you want to feel the sensation of your nipples burning and enjoy screaming in the shower when water makes its way to your nether region. Seriously, invest in some Body Glide &/or some strategically placed waterproof band-aids to make your run chaf-free. (For ladies, I understand a sports bra works well too, though I’ve not yet tried one!)


I HATE wearing sunscreen, but it's so important, especially this time of year. So, ALWAYS wear sunscreen!

Thanks again for reading this new running blog! Please share any additional ideas and feedback with me on Twitter @Radio1045Johnny

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