The thick air and sticky temperatures are a runner's worst nightmare, but you'd still pick this heat over a treadmill

By By Kara Cutruzzula
Updated: July 11, 2016

You can handle snow. Even rain. But high humidity? That's a runner's worst enemy. The oppressive, sticky heat and the thick air is an instant running buzzkill. It makes you question your fitness level (because intervals become interminable). You've probably even pondered moving somewhere with "dry heat" just to avoid humid-weather runs. One avid runner aptly describes how it feels to run in New York in July: "I'm simultaneously thirsty and covered in water that my body is leaking out." Sound familiar? Then so will this internal process from start to finish of a hot and humid run outside.

"Maybe the humidity broke overnight!"

Your alarm just blared. You're lying in bed. You look out the window. Those cruel, deceptive clouds, tell you nothing. When you fire up the Weather app on your phone it reads 78 degrees with 70 percent humidity. How? It's only six in the morning. You think all is lost. And yet, you get up anyway because you're in stage one of humidity grief: Denial.

"It can't be as bad as yesterday."

So now you're on the threshold of your apartment looking out, too afraid to open the door, too afraid to face the truth. You wait, and you wait some more. You're going to be late for work if you wait any longer. Even the idea of walking outside makes you want to puke. And yet you do-you step outside.


The instant you take your first step, you think, "This isn't so bad," and then you start to run. Welcome to the anger stage. You cry out and feel like the only person in the world who would run in such terrible conditions. (Those six runners you passed on your way to the park-surely, their bodies are adapted to humidity or they are elite athletes, you tell yourself.)

"Am I taking a bath in public?"

A half-mile into your run, you look down and think: "I need a new shirt. This one looks like I sat ringside while Shamu did his flips." Then: "Is Shamu still at Sea World? What's going on with the killer whales? Should I stop and Google it? I've run so much already...maybe it's time to waddle home." Distraction is your friend on a humid run.

"Why can't I shake it off?"

Your limbs are heavy, your head is heavy, your entire body feels heavy. Shake out your arms and, nope, that doesn't help at all. All that accomplished was splashing the person running next to you. Sorry!

"It feels like I'm barely moving."

*Checks RunKeeper* "Oh, I am barely moving. Was I always this slow? Maybe my shirt is just weighing me down." You want to weep. WHERE IS THE VITA COCO WHEN I NEED IT?! Is it inappropriate to wash off your head in the public water fountain? Not that you're gonna do it, you know, asking for a friend. (Also asking for a friend, but are post-workout showers really necessary? In this case, ABSOLUTELY YES!)


Yesssss! You've found the water fountain and it's not a mirage. You drink just enough to revive your miserable body enough to get home. You look at your drenched body, reveling in your grossness, your sopping wet hair and straight-in-the-laundry clothes, and think, "Well, I did it. Somehow, I ran."


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