Learning to run in the heat

Back in February/March, I took my family on vacation to the Bahamas, and for the first time, had to run where it is warm. Since I just began running in September of last year, I had never run in temperatures above about 60F. I remember wondering why I found it difficult to run medium distances, and frankly, it never dawned on me that I might need a little time to get used to the temperature and humidity.

Fast forward to now and I find myself still getting used to it. A bunch of more experienced runners all say the same thing: when you run in heat and humidity, you need to slow down. I never quite believed it until today when I went running with one of my sons. Whenever one of them goes with me, I slow down and enjoy the time and conversation. So today, it was in the high 80s and the humidity was somewhere around 97%. My run was just over six miles, but for the first time since summer began, and I ran on a very humid day, I didn’t feel like it was a struggle. Lesson learned. Of course, the hard way, but lesson learned nonetheless.

Tomorrow will be my long run and the heat and humidity are supposed to be equal to today. I plan to slow down my pace a full 30 seconds/mile than my typical pace and see how it goes.

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