how runners can conquer humidity

Summer can be a glorious time, but as runners, it also means we need to plan to conquer humidity. In the south, especially, we deal with brutal heat and soupy humid conditions, so I feel more than qualified sharing my tips with you.

conquer humidity

Hydration is critical

First and foremost, hydration is the primary defense against humidity. I lose so much moisture when I perspire (and I perspire quite a bit), and the only way to combat that loss is by drinking more water. As you know, regular water is not my favorite, but things like Nuun and sparkling water do the trick as well. The answer to how to combat humidity is always “more clear fluids.”

conquer humidity

Run before the sunrise

Before I broke my leg, everyone thought I was nuts for going out on my runs so early in the morning. However, my reasoning was sound: running before dawn helped cut the heat and also the humidity. Once the sun starts beating down, it’s almost impossible to get any kind of relief from the thick, hot air, and I believe it making things as easy as possible. Some people go for night runs, but I find that the heat and humidity of the day lingers once the sun goes down. Your mileage may vary.


Dress light

In the interest of full disclosure, I will never run in just my sports bra, no matter how humid it is. I do, however, look for light, wicking fabrics. Tank tops and shorts are my go-tos, and I prefer things that are a little flowy (not too much), vented, and that breathe. Too much fabric can soak up sweat and lead to chafing.


Slow down.

It needs to be said. When you are in the thick of summer running and need to conquer humidity, you must slow down. Fall PRs are built in the summer months, and cutting your pace shouldn’t have any detrimental effects on future training. I’ve reduced my intervals to 3:1, because I am struggling too hard in the current humidity, and that’s ok. I’ll get it back in the cooler months.



When you are finished with your run, remember to replenish what your body has lost through sweat and activity. Look for electrolyte replacements, salt, and potassium. Foods and drinks with these qualities will help you replace what you’ve lost through sweat and help prevent cramps and dehydration.


What are your tips on how to conquer humidity?

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18 Responses to how runners can conquer humidity

  1. Humidity is the worst! I’ve been running later this summer when I do stroller runs, and between the sun and the humidity its been so tough. When I run alone I’m out much earlier. Its all about having the right clothes, staying hydrated, and slowing down!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Race Across Maryland Week 2 (Miles 40-83 )My Profile

  2. Shathiso says:

    I admire all of you for running in such conditions. Humidity is such a foreign concept for me as I’m from an extremely dry country. But I’ve done some work in Tanzania which is very humid and I struggle just to walk around!

  3. Catrina says:

    Sometimes people here in Switzerland complain about the “humidity” and it makes me smile.
    Anyone who has run in Florida or a similar tropical country knows what humidity really means. You are awesome for running in that weather!
    And for the record, I would never run only in a sports bra either.
    I leave that to the 20-year-olds, LOL!
    Catrina recently posted…Hiking and BikingMy Profile

  4. Wendy says:

    I feel like running in the humidity is just a suck it up and go kind of situation. I do agree with going early and hydrating; slowing down is not a choice for me. Actually, as I write this, I’m hydrating and getting ready to run. It’s gross out.

    The only thing I’d add is to lube up to avoid chafing!

  5. I struggle with the humidity every summer. Hydrating helps but mainly I give myself permission to slow down and walk. I just keep moving forward and dreaming of October weather

  6. Ok, the only one that doesn’t work for me is run before sunrise. I used to, but over the years I just don’t want to get out that early. So I’d just say get out the door earlier! It does help!

  7. Yes to all you mentioned (including the sports bra comment LOL). I think the biggest thing is to respect the weather. The heat (and especially the humidity) calls for modifying one’s expectations. It’s crazy to expect one’s body to perform the same way in extreme heat as it would under cooler conditions.

  8. Great tips! The humidity gets pretty rough where I live, so I try to keep hydrated and run at times of the day that are as least miserable as possible, lol!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Summer Style: Knockaround Premiums Sport SunglassesMy Profile

  9. It’s been very humid here in Chicago these past few weeks. Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable enough running alone before the sunrise, so I just have to suck it up. I’m pretty good at hydrating before, during, and after my runs, which helps a ton.

  10. Darlene S. Cardillo says:

    Great tips. Humidity is the worst. I think Florida has it bad.

    Likely it’s been humid and it just slows you dine no matter what you do.

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