Running in Hot and Humid Weather

As most runners are well aware, when temperature and humidity rise, it becomes much more difficult to run at your typical pace. This is because exercising in the heat causes blood to be redirected from working muscles to your skin to help keep you cool. This extra work inside your body causes increased heart rate and lactate production. Dehydration will also set in much faster as your body uses perspiration as another method of cooling itself down. So knowing this, should we avoid training in the heat? Absolutely not, research shows there are many benefits to running in the heat. Some coaches and researchers even believe training in the heat is more effective for increasing VO2 Max than training at high elevation! Now before you set out for your next summer run you should first know how to properly adjust your pace.

Adjusting Your Running Pace For the Heat

The most accurate way to adjust your pace for the heat is actually to forget your pace altogether and instead focus on your heart rate. Try out our Heart Rate Zone Calculator. There are 5 heart rate zones. In general, easy runs are completed in zone 2, tempo runs in zone 3, and intervals in zone 4. If your training plan calls for a 5-mile easy run, you should keep your heart rate within zone 2 for the entire 5 miles regardless of the pace required to stay within that heart rate zone. If you don’t have the equipment required to monitor your heart rate during your runs, you can try out our heat-adjusted running pace calculator below. This calculator will help give you an idea of how much to adjust your pace given your current weather conditions. Start by entering your Zip Code and pressing “Get Weather.” This will automatically fill in the Humidity and Temperature fields. Next, enter your typical running pace and press “Get Pace Adjustment.”

Heat Adjusted Running Pace Calculator

Picture of Chas Metz

Chas Metz

Marathoner and Co-Founder of Run Lab CBD

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