Humidity Sucks.

If you live on the East Coast you know one thing…

The humidity this week has been 150% and awful.  Weren’t we all just complaining about the winter weather and now it’s 1000 degrees with 500% humidity?

At least that is how I’ve seen it lately.  Conditioning to the heat stinks.  Your pace slows down and you feel like you are worker so much harder.  You come back pouring sweat after half a mile and going a minute per mile slower.

No one else?

Well I’ll be the first to admit I was doing really well with my pacing this winter.  Yes it was cold but I didn’t feel like I was breathing through a straw.  I was hitting the perfect pace for 6 out of 7 runs.  I was consistent and I felt awesome.   I credit PRing in my half marathon with my consistent splits.  (I was doing very little speed work).

That, unfortunately, is not how I feel right now.  I am the slog champion!  I feel like I’m breathing through a straw, preying that I don’t get winded.  I’ve stopped timing a good portion of my miles because timing them caused me to compare my miles to fair weather temperatures.  Which is silly and pointless.

Now I come back wheezing, huffing and puffing after swimming through a swampy morning run. 

Not timing my runs seems to be working out well though.  I’m not miserable running, I’m just slower.  Every summer I take the time to tell myself that injury free miles are the most important.  My only goal of the summer is to log miles and log injury free miles.  Training for a marathon cannot happen if I’m injured or worried about each and every mile split of a run.  Plus I have other things to be worried about…

I want to PR in my marathon this fall.  Not only do I want to PR I want to crush the 3:17 I ran at NYC.  I’m not racing a marathon in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity like my training runs right now (at least god I really hope not).

Last year I took this same mentality.  I logged easy base building miles.  I didn’t time a good portion of miles in VA…or if I did they were above 8:30+ pace (almost always).  Even though I was just focusing on staying injury free I ended up PRing in both the 5k and 8k.

Then when I thought my summer was over I moved to Texas and continued for two more months of heat. I remember running my first 20 mile run and when I finished it was 98 degrees.

I saw the twilight zone and slept on the floor for a couple of hours. I drank 6 powerades hoping to find my long lost electrolytes.

But I made it through my six months of summer and toed the line at the NYCM injury free.  I logged several 80 mile weeks and peaked at my first (and only) 100 mile week.  All injury free.  I had one close call but after switching my shoes my knee felt fine again. (my wallet hated the fact I disposed of a 175 pair of Newtons with 50 miles of them but my legs were happy).

I guess what I’m saying is the heat and humidity sucks.  It’s not pleasant and you probably feel like you are breathing through a straw.  Even though you don’t see everyone out and about, others are dealing with the same thing.

Finally if it gets too bad I’ll be the first to admit I’ll go run on the treadmill and catch up on trashy TV.

Being injured or hurt for your goal race sucks more.  I’ll continue to whine about the heat but in reality I’m logging injury free miles.  Despite being slower, I know I’ll feel fabulous when fall rolls around again.

Questions for you:

How hot is it where you live? 

I don’t mind the cold as long as it’s not icy.

32 responses

  1. I hate running in the heat and humidity. I’m always convinced my summer sucky runs mean I’m in terrible shape but it works out just fine when it cools down for fall races, I’m just not built for heat. I’m sure it’s just me but I struggle a LOT, I have a hard time breaking 9 min/mi in a Virginia summer and I tend to feel dizzy/nauseous the rest of the day every time I run outside. To keep my sanity, I usually do 2 runs a week inside so I can assure myself I can still run faster and to alleviate all the sick feelings 🙁

  2. The humidity is killing me but I like to think I am burning 4 times the calories, haha. I guess once I get used to it, it won’t be as bad. One can hope.

  3. the summer makes me super nervous because like you I want to kill it in the fall but each run in this humidity makes me keep thinking ‘how the freak will i ever run farther and faster???’ eeeek
    but yes, these are all my thoughts exactly.

  4. Humidity is the soul sucker of runs. Rain and cold I’m fine with but humidity (and wind as well) are just demoralising.
    I have a question, you mentioned for a lot of your runs you didn’t really time yourself and when you did it was above 8.30min pace. Now I’m no where near your speeds in races but when I go out for a run and aim to run an easy run I find it hard to not creep around 8min miles. Between 8-8.20 I find I’m comfortably running, I can talk and it doesn’t seem like too much hard work. Do you find it tricky to run so ‘slowly’? Do you make a real effort to not get tempted to run faster? I desperately want to avoid injury for my marathon lead-up and wonder if I’m running these ‘easy’ runs too fast…

    • I honestly don’t have an issue running slowly. I bounce anywhere from an 8-9:30 mile without really realizing it. I don’t have to make a special effort I guess to run slowly. In all honesty, anything below 8 min miles feels like work to me.

  5. We’ve been blessed with a pretty cool start to the summer so far, plus it is been dry with the occasional torrential downpour. I feel lucky to live and train here, especially since all my marathons seem to be at or near sea level. We’ll see some 90’s and maybe some 100’s as the summer wears on, but it is rarely humid and usually cool in the morning. Does the USAF have a refueling wing in Colorado? Maybe that’s Tim’s next assignment!! 🙂

    • Tim wants to go to Colorado and there are opportunities out there…but…

      We are Jersey birds for at least 4 years. Then there are a couple of places we would choose above Co (but they are out west). That being said Co is/was in our top 5.

  6. Tuesday night we ran. It was 65F and 100% humidity. Awesome! Sunday I ran in the heat (70F) and kept telling my self that this is good conditioning for what is coming our way.
    I refuse to complain.
    Cheers – Andy

  7. Well, yes its hot in CO…but zero humidity most days…kinda that whole desert/prairie thing haha. I did run in East Coast humidity for 20 years of my life so I feel your pain.

    Also I saw your comment about moving to CO – do it. This place is amaze-balls and the running community/ competition is fierce.

  8. Oh God, the worst is when you stop and the humidity in the air just condensates on your skin and your running clothes don’t dry out for over a day. Gross.

  9. The humidity has just been stupid bad, it makes it so hard to relax! You are doing great keeping up the miles though, and I’m sure your hair looks fab (Fro is in this year, at least that’s what I tell myself when I look in the mirror)

  10. Cold isn’t too bad. “Winter” running in SC is actually quite nice unless it’s windy. The humidity has been really crazy here lately, along with the heat, but I really miss running in it because I felt like it made my lungs stronger for the Fall… like there was some sort of adaptation there? You’ll do great in your marathon, you have a long time to train for it and hopefully the weather will be good that day. Plus on race day you’ll have the mental boost of knowing you trained in hot and humid conditions!

  11. A-freaking-men. My only goal this summer is to stay healthy. And survive the humidity, which has left me swearing badly for the last three weeks. I hate being a sweaty mess at the end of mile .5 let alone 9+, but what can you do?

  12. You are right on about the humidity! I ran this morning and made it through 7, but not without a few walks. Give me cold weather for running any day of the week. I probably consider 45F about idea for runs.

  13. I live in MD and we are right there in that 100% humidity range. Yesterday when I got back from my run I was SOAKED and dripping and my car temp said 72…that is not even that hot but it was 100% humidity! It actually does not bother me too bad. I try to slow my pace up and give my body some time to adjust….but I hate winter and I complain too much about the winter…so if I complain in the summer my husband would kill me :)!!! I am that person that will take 100% humidity over cold and snow :).
    I am curious about your easy paces….I think I need to slow my easy runs up just a little. Your race times are faster than mine and I usually get comfortable with an 8 min pace and hang around that pace (8:00-8:20) for my slow runs. I am thinking that I need to make an effort to slow that up a bit.

  14. Living in Dallas I def know how you feel! Running in the heat sucks – getting acclimated sucks. I am trying to have a better attitude about it than I did last summer. EMBRACE THE HEAT is what I’m telling myself — sadly its only June so there are many many weeks of this to go.

  15. Ugh I feel you on this one. I’m a wuss on temperatures much above 60 when it comes to running, so this heat and humidity is torture. Even early AM runs don’t seem to help. I just pretty much refuse to run in the summer….which is not really going to work with me since I have an early October half marathon. I resort to a lot more cross training in the summer to hold me through and suffer through 1-2 early AM runs outside per week and get on the treadmill for the rest.

  16. So there are two running seasons? Complaining about the cold and complaining about the heat and humidity! With two weeks in between? haha

    I also refuse to complain – mornings here are 65F and have been pretty humid (it has rained every day this week) … so I sweat more. Oh well. In the winter I ran all the way down to -20F plus wind chill. I layered up and dealt with it. Oh well.

    I like running. I run outside. Running outside means dealing with weather. Weather changes, tends to be warm in the summer and cold in winter. In fact that exact same pattern has repeated for every. single. one of the 25 years I have been running. Right now it is warm, in a month it will be warmer, and then a few months after that it will be cold.


    As for Wineglass in the fall … the last three years (I’ve run the last two, my brother came from Princeton area to run in 2011), have varied wildly – 2011 was 35F with freezing rain the whole time; 2012 was *perfect* 40F at start, 60F by the end, partly cloudy; last year was almost 70 and humid at the start and 88F and humid by the end … the medical tent was packed and I saw people carted away in ambulances along the way! Here’s hoping for a great day for you! (I’m doing an ultra the following weekend so I’m skipping Wineglass this year).

  17. I understand. Completely and totally. Training when I lived in San Antonio was pretty gosh damn tough; and the worst part was that I thought that was just the norm. 100% humidity and 85*F at 5:00am? *le sigh* I think that it will be better up here in the Chi, but I certainly love running in the cold over the heat!

  18. Yes. The humidity has been AWFUL. I’m not even trying to run fast. In fact, I’m focusing on slowing down during my runs, so the humidity came at a perfect time. lol.

    I am trying coconut water after my runs, which is new to me, and seeing if I can’t replace all those electrolytes since I hate Gatorade.

  19. Had to weigh in here! I won’t race in this weather, other than a 5k, but I actually kind of like training in it. Yes, we have to adjust our paces. But–come fall, we are rockstars for having trained through it. Plus, what’s not to love about sitting outside drinking an iced coffee post run? So look at it as an opportunity and when your fall marathon gets here, you’ll be in fantastic shape. Heat wins in my book!

  20. Hollie … gurrrrllll!!! Amen! to this post and you can’t even know how hot training runs are here in Florida right temps in the 90’s and like a 1000% humidity. It’s even pushing 80 and humid at 5am sooooo I’m soooo feeling your pain. But on the positive side I guess it’ll make for some fast fall racing for us if we can continue to tough it out eh’

  21. It is SO humid here! I sweat walking to and from practice, work, errands, etc. Basically, I’m always a hot mess. And to think we complained about the winter months …

  22. I PR’d in my fall half and I really credit training through the summer for it! Since the heat/humidity has kicked in here I definitely have been running slower, but I know once it cools off it will feel so easy and my speed will pick up!

  23. I can handle a little heat but humidity is the worst, and its been so bad lately. I know I complained all winter but its not so much the cold I don’t like but the wind and ice. Lately I start sweating as soon as I step out the door, and I’m drenched by 1 mile into my run!

  24. Oh my gosh, I would take 20 degrees ANY day!

    I grew up in Florida, but I DO NOT run well in the heat and humidity. Living in NC now (it’s just as hot and humid here!) I just accept from the get-go that my Summer times will be slower and I don’t run more than 10 miles, because I truly cant handle it.
    People who can train for marathons over the Summer absolutely amaze me! Good luck!

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