As runners, most of us are pretty good about taking precautions when the weather is hot. If the local news starts frying eggs on car hoods and asking you to check on elderly neighbors, it’s a pretty standard reminder to stay hydrated and perhaps not head out for the day’s workout during the heat of the day.
Humidity, on the other hand, can sneak up on you. Even on an unseasonably cool day — like when a rainstorm finally makes a dent in high temperatures — humidity can bring special challenges to runners, even creating a dangerous situation for the underprepared.
Sweat is your body’s cooling system. As it evaporates from your skin, it cools you off. When it’s humid out, sweat is less able to evaporate, which makes overheating more likely.
It’s why we feel sticky and generally gross when it’s really humid out… exercising or not.
When humidity strikes, it’s important to show the weather a little respect and prepare accordingly. That means thinking ahead, drinking water early and often, and avoiding the hottest parts of the day.
But just as important is simply being mindful of what your body is telling you during those high-humidity workouts. Don’t assume that a little disorientation or dizziness is just you hitting the wall or having a rough run. It might mean you’re starting to get dangerously overheated and need to either dial it back a little or take a break altogether.
There’s no shame in knowing your limits and doing the right thing to stay healthy enough for your next run. Take care of yourselves out there!