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Not Running in the Heat? Get Over It

Bank_temp_sign_2 Scorching!  Steamy!  Soaking!  Countless runs have been shortened, abandoned or taken indoors the last few weeks due to the miserable heat and humidity.  The hardest of hard core runners have thrown in the towel.

The only thing that exceeds the heat is the regret and guilt I’ve read on some posts.  To all of us who have opted not to wage war with the dangerous heat, Bravo!  We’ve erred on the side of good judgment, aka, recovery.

I’m no pushover.  For years I’ve tinkered with all sorts of training plans, reaching for new levels of fitness and endurance.  I cut my running teeth on some poor training, extreme conditions, and some brainless racing.  One lesson I've learned the hard way and don’t back away from is choose recovery vs. overdoing it.

Godfather But I am the self-appointed Godfather of Recovery.  If you seek guidance to run better, race better, or feel better, chances are I’ll recommend quality recovery.  Debating whether or not to run in adverse conditions? You get a bye from me.  Thinking about running through mysterious soreness?  Fuggetaboutit. 

Tell me you’ve got heavy legs? I’ll endorse running easy, short, or taking a a few days off.  Thinking about jumping into a race because friends are or because you’ve paid your entry fee?  I’ll tell you skip it, go volunteer, and focus on your running wellness. After all, we aren’t training to run our best in awful conditions.

If you need something more official—

Announcement_3 I hereby pronounce that all the running we’ve written off, taken slowly, replaced with walking, playing Wii, or taking a nap, is athletically absolved, forgiven, and forgotten.  No guilt. No regret.  So let it be done.

If you’re tracking your runs, enter “Recovery” in your log and put my initials next to the entry.  If you’re wondering what conditioning you’ve lost, it’s nothing, zero, zilcho, nada.

By the way, with this decree, I’m anointing you with some spare humidity.

Temp sign on Flickr by Satsuma

Godfather on Flickr by xcre7ox

Trumpeter on Flickr by Mvelinder


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Darnel Gray

Very nice post Tom! It's always hard for me to get out there when its warm, especially when its humid. I like your thoughts and your posts are always a great read. Keep it up!



Hey thanks for the well timed get out of jail free card.


I use walking as a recovery method. My motto is to just keep moving.
Nice and cool around here this morning - 45 degrees. To bad I have to go to work...

Art Dinkin

I subscribe to your theory of "when in doubt, don't", but this summer I have really liked running in the heat and humidity. Odd, huh?

My legs have felt loose and limber in the heat and there is a certain degree of satisfaction when you finish the run and water pours off your body like you just climbed out of the pool.

I make sure to stay plenty hydrated and to not push myself, but I've actually moved some morining runs to noon so I can let it heat up a bit!


a nice post! i'm better at running in the heat now that i live in the desert :)


Hi Tom! I wanted to thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog! I've really been enjoying what I've been reading of yours and Amy's. Thanks for giving me the boost to keep going. :)

p.s. I was going to run tomorrow even though my knee has started to feel a bit achy after todays run. After reading this post I think I may reconsider and just give it a break tomorrow. :)


I'm a early morning runner, although humidity can at times be bad. Later day himidity is worse. When I go to XC and Track work nights I welcome them because most likely that will be the true conditions of a race!!

Training for my first marathon

Tom, having recently started training for my first marathon, I'd be curious to know what you mean by "quality recovery"

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This is the one we did, isn't it??? It's one of my all time favorite runs.

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This is the one we did, isn't it??? It's one of my all time favorite runs.!

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