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Running in Extreme Heat: Safely Heat Train in Summer

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

The Heat Can Make Running More Dangerous, But There Are Ways You Can Run Safely.

As a runner, you probably know that the summer heat can be dangerous. But did you know that there are some situations when it's actually better to avoid running in the heat? When it comes to extreme temperatures, safety is always paramount.

Male Running Early in Morning

In this article, we'll talk about when it's OK to hit the road or trails and when you should skip your run because of heat-related illness. We'll also discuss how to stay healthy and hydrated during hot weather runs so that you never have to put your health in jeopardy again.

When to Avoid Running in The Heat

When you should avoid running in the heat:

  • When it's very hot. If you're running on a day when the temperature is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it's best to skip your run and wait until later in the day when it's cooler.

  • When it's extremely humid. Humidity makes the heat feel worse, so if humidity levels reach 80 percent or more, consider skipping your run and waiting until later in the day when conditions improve.

  • If you aren't used to running in extreme temperatures (or at all!). While most people can get used to being outside during high temperatures and humidity with time and practice, some people will always feel uncomfortable doing so—and that lack of comfort should be a clear sign that they shouldn't be out on those days yet! If this sounds like something that applies to you, don't worry—there are plenty of other ways for runners like yourself to stay fit without having any adverse effects from working out outside during these times! For example...

How to Stay Healthy in Extreme Heat

  • Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and avoid cotton if possible (it holds moisture).

  • Wear a hat to protect your head from the sun’s rays—you can also use sunscreen on your face if you don’t have a hat or visor.

  • Wear sunglasses to reduce glare from the sun reflecting off of pavement or other surfaces and protect your eyes from UV damage.

  • Don't forget the electrolytes for runs over 60 minutes.

Heat Index

The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when both the relative humidity and air temperature are combined. The heat index is usually higher than the air temperature because evaporating sweat can cool you off.

How Heat Index is Calculated

The heat index changes with time, so one cannot be certain what the current heat index reading will be during any given run. The National Weather Service provides an hourly forecast for your area that includes both current air temperature and wind speed, but there's no way to predict when weather conditions will change abruptly.

An alternative method for calculating heat index involves measuring wet bulb globe temperature instead of dry bulb thermometer readings (or vice versa). Scientists have determined that this measure correlates more closely with human discomfort than either dry or wet bulb alone, especially in humid areas where evaporation rates aren't as high as they would be under drier conditions due to higher relative humidity levels."

Safety Tips For Running in Extreme Heat

The heat can make running more dangerous, but there are ways you can run safely.

  • Take it slow. The first thing you should do is to slow down your pace during your run. If you’re used to running at an eight-minute mile pace and the temperature is over 90 degrees, then go for a ten-minute mile instead. If it’s over 100 degrees out, go even slower than that—eleven or twelve minutes per mile should be fine for most people.

  • Don't push yourself too hard in extreme heat conditions; this could lead to dehydration if you aren't careful about how much fluid intake you get during exercise in hot conditions (more on this later). It's especially important not to push yourself when training for an important event like a marathon race because pushing yourself too hard could cause injuries such as muscle cramps or heat exhaustion that could ruin your race day experience altogether!

Don't let the heat get you down. When running in extreme heat, it's important not to let yourself become discouraged by how much harder it feels than normal. It doesn't mean that your fitness level has decreased or that you're not doing well—it just means that running during these conditions requires more energy expenditure than usual.


The best way to stay healthy and safe when running in the heat is by listening to your body, taking breaks when necessary, and staying hydrated. If you feel like something is off, take a break from running for a few days. Heat-related illness can be avoided if you listen to your body's signals and avoid pushing yourself past your limits when exercising outside during the summer months.

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