5-Minute Expert Guide to Running in Humid Weather

Academy® Sports + Outdoors
by Academy® Sports + Outdoors
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5-Minute Expert Guide to Running in Humid Weather

Summer is here, and runners everywhere are sweating buckets. But just because the heat is on doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to skip runs or stay chained to the treadmill for the next three months.

We spoke with Under Armour® marathoner Nick Arciniaga — who lives and trains in Flagstaff, Ariz. — for his tips on running through the summer. As someone who often logs runs in scorching temperatures, this professional runner knows a thing or two about dealing with the heat.

Pre-Run Tactics

Because temperatures are hottest in the late afternoon, it makes sense to avoid running during that time. Arciniaga says to get out in the early morning hours (just before the sun starts to rise) when temperatures are at their lowest. He focuses on getting enough sleep and waking up a couple of hours before his run to stretch and rehydrate.

“You want to make sure you’re drinking a lot of water before a run because we lose a good amount of fluid overnight,” Arciniaga says.

Drinking cold water can also decrease your body temperature to act as a precooling technique before you hit the road.

Smart Clothing Choices

In addition to hydration tactics, Arciniaga recommends wearing light-colored, moisture-wicking tops and shorts, like those in Under Armour’s HeatGear line.

Great gear makes all the difference when it’s hot! Academy  Sports + Outdoors® is where you can find Under Armour® apparel with superior moisture-wicking performance. Shop here.

These special fabrics are designed to pull sweat away from your body, transferring heat with it. Sweat is a natural process your body uses to decrease your internal temperature, but when summer heat is impeding the cooling process, the right apparel can act as an additional chilling tool.

Midrun Tips

In the summer, the right route can offer its own cooling methods. Find a path with lots of shade to shield you from the sun’s damaging rays, or run near bodies of water that can sometimes have lower air temperatures or a cool breeze.

Arciniaga also stresses the importance of hydrating while on the run.

“I sometimes carry a water bottle with me when I go out,” he says. “But I will often go drive my running route and stash hydration along the way to pick up as I go by.”

Post-Run Musts

The faster your body temperature drops after a run, the faster you’ll feel better. One of Arciniaga’s favorite ways of cooling off is going for a dip in a pool or natural body of water. Also drink a large glass of ice cold water to help bring your internal temperature back to normal.

In addition to regulating your body temperature, it’s crucial to replace the electrolytes you lost while sweating. This means including a sports drink, which contains high levels of the simple sugars and electrolytes you need after a run, in your hydration regimen.

Know When to Make Changes

While summer runs are seldom going to be a walk in the park, Arciniaga knows when to take it easy.

“When the temperature reaches 70° F or higher, don’t worry about time,” he says. “Your pace might slow as much as 10–30 seconds per mile.”

But even if you are comfortable in the heat of summer, it’s important to recognize when hot is too hot. When the mercury breaks 90° F, Arciniaga recommends cutting a run short, or consider moving your workout indoors when temperatures reach triple digits.

With the right approach to running in the heat and these pro tips, you’ll be running cool this summer — both literally and figuratively.

About the Author

Academy® Sports + Outdoors
Academy® Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors® is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel, fitness and much more. The Academy Sports + Outdoors® philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices.


22 responses to “5-Minute Expert Guide to Running in Humid Weather”

  1. Kali says:

    This article did not address running in humid weather as the title implies. Arizona, although very hot, has extremely low humidity.

    • Kerly says:

      Agreed! Try running where I live in Florida, that is humidity for you where on a daily basis it’s above 90

      • BeeOhBee says:

        Not sure why everyone is complaining about running in Florida… I’m in the Tampa area and get to run all year round in beautiful weather. Granted during the summer, when it’s already 80° at 5:15am and 90% humidity, my times are a little slower than where I’ll be in October through April, but I can run in shorts all year round. Being from NJ, I’ll take the heat and humidity over snow and ice any day! Besides, sweating is so good for you 🙂 Just drink more.

        • Michelle says:

          Love your response … I’m a Tampa girl – transplanted from Cleveland and I feel equally as blessed… Hell yeah it’s hot and we sweat — that’s why we do it, right?

    • Julie Kruse Ellis says:

      Flagstaff isn’t hot. It’s a mountain town.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I agree, I livein Florida and run at 4:30 in the morning and the humidity in the summer is usually already at 80+%. 70° is not even the low. Was looking for help, Nope!

  3. Fourester says:

    What a joke. I just checked the weather for Flagstaff for the next 2 weeks. Highs in the 70s-80s and lows in the 50s.

    • Bart Kincannon says:

      Agree here. I live in Arkansas. Heat index is always 8-10 degrees above temp. This article did not help?

  4. Lyzza Archipov says:

    Disappointing… Title said humid which is what I was hoping for. SW Florida in summer run at 5:30 am already has mid 80s temp and mid 90% humidity… Tips to ease that was what I was looking for.

  5. Camille says:

    I live in Palm Springs, CA and it will be about 118 today plus humid. I would love to be able to run outside instead of the gym on the treadmill but even at the crack of dawn it’s already 82 or more and gets hotter quickly once the sun is up. So I pick the treadmill right under the giant ceiling fan, put a podcast on and get ‘er done. And Sometimes I run in the pool. Come October, paradise returns and early morning runs will be waiting for me. In the meantime, looking forward to getting out for runs on my vacations to Bend OR and Santa Fe NM.

  6. Jenny LM says:

    Flagstaff? Heat index in Chicago has been in the triple digits with humidity percent in the 90s, and you give me Flagstaff? So much for learning how to work out in humid weather. Fail!!

  7. Abby B says:

    Totally misleading title…the heat suggestions were good, but I’m in Texas, humidity is what I’d like help with!

  8. Robin Burton says:

    Arizona isn’t humid, it’s dry; sweat wicking fabrics don’t work in humidity because they depend on evaporation. In Arizona that’s a slam dunk, the sweat wicks and evaporates. This article needs a different title.

    In Florida we have actual humidity and tolerably hot temperatures, the best advice is to run early in the morning, before sunrise. I actually enjoy the warmth at that time, muscles get very warmed up and it feels good. Also I laughed out loud at the line “when temperatures get over 70F” because that’s chilly here, and 72-75F is my favorite running temperature of all, it doesn’t feel hot. Summer mornings here before sunrise are more like 75-80F, and without sun that’s comfortable.

  9. Gil Plumb says:

    Living in Dallas, I was hoping for real advice. According to this article, I should just camp out on a treadmill for 4 months out of the year. Come on….

  10. Margie English says:

    “When the temperature reaches 70° F or higher, don’t worry about time,” he says. “Your pace might slow as much as 10–30 seconds per mile.”

    Aw. Has anyone ever run this fast? I come nowhere close to this time even when it’s not humid. 😉

  11. Julie Kruse Ellis says:

    As someone who lives in Phoenix where we have real heat, an article from someone in Flagstaff is laughable. The other day when I ran at 5:30am it was already 90 degrees. 70 is beyond perfect for us. We go up to Flagstaff to get out of the heat! And I don’t recall Flagstaff ever being particularly humid. The altitude will mess with you though if you’re not used to it.

  12. Jason says:

    If you’re a good eats fan, you know that freezing about a third of your hydration pack the night before a Florida morning surface-of-the-sun run will keep your fluids nice and cool for the whole run a lot better than using ice cubes. Bonus: pop an electrolyte tab in before freezing to maintain the correct electrolyte concentration as it melts.

  13. 247 viz says:

    There are places that are not bearable for running. But it is how we handle something like this. Running under the heat.

  14. Jay Miller says:

    I have to agree with many others here. As soon as they said Flagstaff I knew the article wouldn’t be much help for Arkansas’s 90+ degrees and 80+ humidity. Nice article, but this guy hasn’t run in heat and humidity yet. (Sure wish I could run in Flagstaff!)

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