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Running When It’s Too Hot

Man with sweat

Hot Weather Running

When you’re new to running, you want to run whenever your schedule permits you to. While running in the cold just requires layering more clothes to keep your body warm, the heat requires fewer layers and more fluid. When the temperature starts extending into the 80’s, your body has to work that much harder to sustain your running pace.

For a detailed post of the dos and don’ts of running in cold weather, check out:

How To Run In Cold Weather – Beginner’s Guide

Three Runners

For example, let’s pretend we make three identical copies of you and place them in three different environments.

  • Runner 1 – runs in an environment below 40 degrees
  • Runner 2 – runs in an environment between 50 degrees and 70 degrees
  • Runner 3 – runs in an environment above 80 degrees.

Which Runner would sweat the most? The answer is obvious (Runner 3), yet many runners will run in the middle of July in Texas around 4 pm when temperatures get into the 100’s and the heat index peaks around 110 degrees. Running in extreme temperatures does your body no service except for excess sweating and rapid fatigue. The temperature for Runner 1 might be too cold. The ideal running temperature is somewhere in the range of 50 to 70 degrees. Runner 2 will more than likely be able to run further and with less fatigue than either Runner 1 or Runner 3.

Elite Athletes

Even elite athletes shouldn’t run in hot conditions.
Some critics think that running in extreme temperatures can help condition and strengthen the body. If you are an elite athlete, that runs more than 50 miles a week, then running in hot environments can make you more resilient to extreme conditions. However, if you are an elite athlete, I seriously doubt you will be reading this post. For a beginner runner, you want to stack the odds in your favor by not running in hot temperatures.

Related: Why does humidity tank my running performance?

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Coach Scott's Credentials: He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 17th half marathon race. 

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