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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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