Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (2023)

When you picture running in the heat, what probably comes to mind are marathon runs on the 4th of July or 5K races in the middle of summer. Exercising during the sizzling heat may be offputting to some runners, but doing it during hot weather can actually be beneficial for your overall health and performance. With the right gear and preparation, you can make running in the heat a safe and enjoyable experience.

Benefits of Running in Hot Weather

When it comes to running, the ideal running temperature can boil down to personal preference. Some prefer to run when it's cold, and others would rather do it when it's warm but not too hot. Don't knock running in the heat, though, as you can get excellent training results when you run in hot weather.

Several studies indicate that training in hot weather 2-3 times per week for 20-90 minutes per day can produce a multitude of training benefits, including:

  • Decreased heart rate at a given pace
  • Lowered perceived rate of exertion
  • Rapid physical gains
  • Increased plasma volumes
  • Less salt in sweat
  • Better oxygen consumption
  • Improved thermoregulation
  • Increased cardiovascular efficiency
  • Psychological benefits

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (1)

These benefits result in improved running performance in all temperatures, especially regarding distance running. Also, it will take about 1-2 weeks to start seeing gains from running in the heat.

Drawbacks of Running in the Heat

The primary risk of running in the heat is heat exhaustion, especially when the temperature and humidity are both high. Heat exhaustion can occur when the body's core temperature rises above 104°F. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, nausea, rapid pulse, vomiting, headache, confusion, and dizziness.

See a doctor if your symptoms worsen or don't improve in an hour. Also, if you don't get prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can cause heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition! To avoid heat exhaustion, it's important to keep your cool by wearing the right apparel, staying hydrated and acclimating to hot temperatures.

(Video) How To Run In The Heat | Running Tips For When It's Hot

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (2)

You Can Run Slower in Higher Temperatures

As temperatures get hotter, it slows your pace, which is actually good for adapting to future races. This is because the slower pace helps you adjust better to that temperature and body mechanics. This result should help prevent injuries and fatigue from the heat, allowing for a better overall running experience.

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (3)

How to Adjust Your Pace

You can add 5-8 seconds/mile when the mercury reaches 60°F or higher. Therefore, when training during increasing temperature ranges, you'll need to do a little planning to adjust your pace.

Here is how adjusting your pace works:

  • When the temperatures are in the 60s, add 5-8 seconds/mile
  • When the temperatures are in the 70s, add 10 seconds/mile
  • When the temperatures are in the 80s, add 15 seconds/mile

Running in the Heat

When running in the heat, it's important to know your body’s physical needs and realize your limits. Here are some important factors to keep in mind to help you stay healthy and safe while running in hot weather.

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (4)

(Video) Benefits of Training in the Heat

When is it Too Hot to Run Outside?

It's important to recognize when temperatures become too hot for safe running. Not only that, there are heat index dangers to consider, too. The heat index is a combination of temperature and relative humidity (RH).

Running in temperatures greater than 98.6°F (32°C) and an RH over 70-80% can put you at risk for heat exhaustion, so it's best to avoid running outside when the mercury rises too high.

You can turn to your weather forecast and monitor summer days when the heat index is too high for a better running experience. Then, you can formulate a plan to run in the morning or evening when it's not as high or stick to doing an exercise like running on the treadmill indoors.

Running in the Heat When You Are Overweight

If you're overweight and running in hot weather, it's even more important to take extra precautions. Studies have found that subcutaneous fat is an insulator, making overweight people cool less rapidly and produce more heat. In addition to drinking plenty of fluids and wearing lightweight clothing, it’s a good idea to bring along some form of shade with you in case you need to take a break and cool off.

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (5)

Running in the Heat When You Are a Senior

If you are a senior, it doesn't mean you have to give up running in the heat. However, it does mean that you need to take extra care since seniors can be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Talk to Your Doctor

You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen, especially If you have any medical conditions. Let them know that you will be running in the heat, so they can advise you on any precautions or medical tests you should have.

(Video) Runners, what happens to your body in the heat?

Also, let your physician know about any medications you're taking. Certain medications can increase your sensitivity to extreme temperatures and could lead to dangerous side effects when running outside on hot days. Medications can also make your skin sensitive to the sun, and you'll get sunburnt if you're not careful.

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (6)

Tips for Running in the Summer

Even if you take precautions, it's still important to adjust your running habits when running in hot weather. Here are a few tips to help ensure that you're getting the most out of your runs while staying safe:

  1. Start gradually until your body starts to adapt to the heat.
  2. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water or electrolyte drinks before, during, and after your run. This will help to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
  3. Monitor your body temperature for signs of heat exhaustion.
  4. If you can, run on grass or padded tracks instead of concrete or asphalt that reflects heat.
  5. Wear lightweight, light-colored, and breathable clothing, such as nylon. Also, TRUEENERGY® infrared socks are a good choice since they are designed to wick away sweat and keep your feet cool.
  6. Wear a hat or other head covering to protect yourself from the sun.
  7. Wear sunscreen (15 SPF or more) to protect your skin from sunburn and damage. Having five or more burns can increase the risk of melanoma.
  8. Try to find a route with shaded areas so you can take breaks in case you need to cool off.
  9. The chance of chafing in the summer is higher, so lather on some anti-chafe stick or cream.
  10. Don't push yourself if you are feeling pain or if you are feeling dizzy or weak.

Running in Hot Weather: Benefits of Running in the Heat (7)

Working Out in Hot Weather

If you don't want to run in the heat, other options exist for exercising when the weather turns warm. Swimming, cycling and hiking are all great ways to stay fit when it's too hot outside. Pumping iron indoors where there's good air conditioning, or airflow is another great way to stay fit and cool at the same time. You should still take measures to stay hydrated, however, so make sure you bring plenty of water with you.

Get the Best Running Socks for Your Summer Runs

Running in the summer can be enjoyable and refreshing if you take the right precautions. Wear lightweight clothing, drink plenty of fluids, stay in the shade and monitor your body temperature for signs of heat exhaustion. Check out our website to learn more and get the best running socks for your summer runs!


Is it OK to run in hot weather?

Yes, as long as you take the necessary precautions and monitor your body temperature for signs of heat exhaustion.

(Video) Training and racing in hot weather | Running in the heat and humidity

What should I wear when running in hot weather?

Lightweight and breathable clothing such as nylon is best. TRUEENERGY® infrared socks are also a great choice since they'll help to keep your feet cool and dry.

Can you run in 90-degree weather?

It's possible, but it is not advisable. Make sure you've set your pace, have slowly built up your endurance, take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated if you decide to do so. You should also consult your doctor before running in hot weather.

Can you run in 80-degree weather?

Yes, running in 80-degree weather is much more manageable than 90 degrees. However, it's still important to take the necessary precautions and monitor your body temperature.

What should I eat before running in hot weather?

Before running in hot weather, you should make sure you are well-hydrated. Eating a light snack such as a banana or a handful of nuts can also help to provide your body with additional energy.

Is there a benefit to running in the heat?

Hot weather forces your body to run slower and work harder, which is beneficial in several ways, including increasing endurance, improving speed and strengthening your overall cardiovascular system.

Do you burn more calories running in hot weather?

It depends on the intensity of your run, but yes, you can burn more calories running in hot weather. Your body has to work harder to stay cool, which will increase the amount of calories you're burning.


Is there any benefit to running in the heat? ›

In fact, running in the heat can be very beneficial to your training. What is this? As noted, research shows that running in heat and humidity is the same as training at altitude. Running in hot weather puts stress on the cardiovascular system making your heart stronger.

Is it better to run in heat or cool? ›

Believe it or not, cold weather is actually an ideal condition for most runners according to Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist, sports performance coach, and author of The Marathon Method. "The colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run," Holland explains.

What happens to your body when you exercise in hot weather? ›

Exercising in hot weather accelerates fluid loss even more. Heat stress occurs when sweat can't evaporate fast enough to keep the body sufficiently cool. Many of the symptoms occur as a result of excessive loss of body salts and water (dehydration).

Is it tougher to run in the heat? ›

The heat is the most difficult element for runners to compete in and race well. As mentioned previously, with the rise in core body temperature, a runner will have less oxygen available to working muscles, become dehydrated, and suffer a decline in performance.

Is it healthy to run in 100 degree weather? ›

Understand heat index danagers: Avoid running outside if the heat is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%. If the humidity in the air is so high that it prevents the process of evaporation of sweat from the skin, you can quickly overheat and literally cook your insides from an elevated body temperature.

Is it OK to run in 90 degree weather? ›

But while running in the heat may be considered a risk to some people—such as children, the elderly, and pregnant women—as long as precautions are taken, running in temperatures as high as 86–95°F is fine.

Does running in heat burn more fat? ›

Put simply, yes, you do burn more calories – and fat – when running in the heat. Why? It's all about the sweat factor. In short, to help regulate its temperature, your body usually sweats more when working out in hot conditions.

Is it worse to run in heat or humidity? ›

"Of all the climate measurements we take to assess heat risk for our runners, humidity is the biggest factor," says George Chiampas, D.O., the medical director of the Chicago Marathon. Humidity makes warm summer runs even more taxing because the higher the moisture content of the air, the hotter it feels.

How can I increase my heat tolerance? ›

Heat acclimatization is the improvement in heat tolerance that comes from gradually increasing the intensity or duration of work performed in a hot setting. The best way to acclimatize yourself to the heat is to increase the workload performed in a hot setting gradually over a period of 1–2 weeks.

Is it safe to exercise in 100 degree heat? ›

Generally, when the heat index is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should use extreme caution when heading outdoors for activity or intense exercise. When the temperatures are high, there is an increased risk of serious heat-related illnesses.

Does working out in the heat make you weaker? ›

If your body cannot get rid of the extra heat, your body temperature will rise. In heat exhaustion, your body temperature may rise to 101°F (38.3°C) to 104°F (40°C). This can make you feel weak and dizzy. Your heart may not be able to pump enough blood.

Can I run in 110 degree weather? ›

Yes it's possible but you will need to manage carefully in terms of your body's ability to handle the heat as well as the distance you can run.

How long does it take to adjust to running in heat? ›

Getting acclimated to working out in heat and humidity typically takes 10 to 14 days of exposure in exercise sessions that last 60 to 90 minutes.

Is it safe to run in 80 degree weather? ›

Your only alternative is to slow down. “Basically, when the air temperature exceeds 80 degrees and the humidity exceeds 70 percent, you will find that performance drops markedly,” Armstrong says. “When the air temperature exceeds 80 degrees and the humidity exceeds 70 percent, performance drops.”

Do some people run hotter? ›

What is important to understand is that body temperatures may vary from person to person depending on their age, activity and the time of the day. While all humans are warm blooded and can regulate their body temperatures, there are some people who may feel colder or hotter than other individuals.

How do I know if I have heat exhaustion? ›

Check for signs of heat exhaustion

dizziness. headache. feeling sick or being sick. excessive sweating and skin becoming pale and clammy or getting a heat rash, but a change in skin colour can be harder to see on brown and black skin.

Does running in the sun burn more calories? ›

Though you burn more calories in the heat, its role in weight loss is minimal and decreases as you acclimate to exercising in warmer climates.

Is it safe to run in 102 degrees? ›

At first, this rise in temperature aids performance by increasing blood flow to the working muscles – hence, the importance of warming-up before hard workouts and races. However, once your internal body temperature gets above 102 degrees you start to experience a significant drop in performance.

What temperature can you not run in? ›

With that said, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends runners exercise caution when deciding whether to run outside when the air temperature falls below -18 °F (-27 °C) because tissue injury can occur in 30 minutes or less under these conditions.

What heat index is too hot to run? ›

Heat Index: 130+ degrees F Health Effect: Heatstroke/sunstroke is highly likely with continued exposure Recommendations: Avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Stay indoors in an air conditioned facility. Stay well-hydrated.

How do you run in Florida heat? ›

Here are some of his tips:
  1. Try Running Early in the Morning. It's the coolest, most serene part of the day, and there's nothing like a morning run to boost your mood all day long.
  2. Drink Like Crazy. Even if you don't feel thirsty, drink at least 8 oz. ...
  3. Go Light and Loose. ...
  4. Watch What You Drink. ...
  5. Heed the Heat Warnings.
Mar 26, 2019

Does more sweat mean a better workout? ›

The answer is NO. The amount of sweat is not an indicator of a good workout or increased fat loss. It is a myth.

Does sweating mean a good workout? ›

While sweating is good for us, it's not a sign of an effective workout or an indicator of calories burned. For example, if you're trying to lose weight, don't make the mistake of trying to “sweat it out” or try to sweat more than someone in your group training.

Is it better to run longer or faster to burn fat? ›

Running faster burns more calories and helps you lose weight in three ways. (1) You burn about 100 calories for every mile you run. But as intensity increases, so does calorie burning—up to 10 calories per minute per mile.

What should I eat before running in hot weather? ›

High temperatures mean that eating certain foods before and after runs can help you perform your best as the temperature starts to soar.
Here are the best 6 foods for runners in the summer:
  • Coconut water. ...
  • Avocado. ...
  • Blueberries. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Quinoa. ...
  • Spinach.
Aug 5, 2019

Why is it so hard to run in high humidity? ›

The more humid it is, the more water there is in the air, and thus the evaporation of sweat is more difficult. In this case, sweat stays on your skin, signaling the lack of evaporation and cooling. When the apparent temperature is between 90-105 degrees, runners can face heat exhaustion or heat cramps.

Does running the heat remove humidity? ›

Will the humidity rise if the heat is turned up? Contrary to popular belief, heating the air actually lowers the relative humidity. This is because, as the temperature of the air increases, the air can hold more molecules, and its relative humidity goes down.

Why do I struggle so much in heat? ›

The extra work for the heart and the lungs can combine with fluid and salt loss to cause a range of problems. Mild effects include the familiar red itchy heat rash. As our bodies work harder, blood vessels widen and dilate and fluid can leak through their walls.

Why am I so weak to heat? ›

Heat intolerance is also called hypersensitivity to heat. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, weakness, cramping, or nausea. This usually happens because your body isn't regulating its temperature properly.

How do I stop feeling weak in the heat? ›

Whether you are at the pool, out in the yard, or just relaxing in the shade, hot temperatures will eventually cause you to feel tired. The best way to stop or even reverse this is to stay hydrated. Hydration replaces the fluid loss caused by sweating.

How do you survive 110 degree heat? ›

Take cool showers or baths.
  1. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  2. Use your oven less to help reduce the temperature in your home.
  3. If you're outside, find shade. ...
  4. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  5. Avoid high-energy activities or work outdoors, during midday heat, if possible.
Aug 1, 2022

Do muscles work harder in heat? ›

They found skeletal muscle and plasma lactate concentrations were greater during exercise in the heat.

Does heat make muscles stronger? ›

Heat has been proven to reduce cellular damage following musculoskeletal injury and also can aid in muscle growth through the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) . Heat therapy also has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve mobility and performance following workouts.

At what temperature does heat stroke occur? ›

Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher.

How can I improve my running in humidity? ›

13 Tips for Running in Heat and Humidity
  1. Less Is Best. Wear as little clothing as legally possible. ...
  2. Don't Forget the Sunscreen. ...
  3. Wear a Hat or Visor. ...
  4. Start Slow and End Slow. ...
  5. Run Early. ...
  6. Run Late. ...
  7. Slow Down. ...
  8. Hit the Trails.
Jun 22, 2020

Do men naturally run hot? ›

The body's metabolism is responsible for the production of energy, including heat. Although men and women maintain an internal body temperature of 98.6 degrees, men typically have more muscle mass and generate more heat by using more calories to fuel those extra muscles.

Do anxious people run hot? ›

Yes. In some rare cases, anxiety symptoms may lead to a rise in body temperature. This is sometimes referred to as psychogenic fever, or a fever caused by psychological reasons.

Why am I hot all the time and gaining weight? ›

Sweating with weight gain may be obesity from caloric intake, liver failure, or congestive heart failure. Also consider depression or a medication side effect.

Can you train your body to withstand heat? ›

Dr. Youngquist: The short answer, Scot, is yes, you can build up tolerance to heat exposure, and this has been shown for some time now, experimentally, with human volunteer subjects, that you can take them and, typically, under conditions of exercise.

Does running in the heat make you more tired? ›

Exercising outdoors on a hot day can cause heat exhaustion. But humidity also plays a large role. In high humidity, your body can't use sweat to cool itself.

Does sweating burn belly fat? ›

Can Sweating Burn Fat? Technically, no. You'll probably break a sweat during an intense fat-burning workout — but the sweat isn't the reason you burn fat. So even if you're sitting in a pool of your own sweat, that doesn't automatically mean you've just burned a ton of fat.

Can you lose weight by sweating from heat? ›

Sweating itself doesn't burn a measurable amount of calories, but sweating out enough liquid will cause you to lose water weight. It's only a temporary loss, though. Once you rehydrate by drinking water or eating, you'll immediately regain any lost weight.

Where does fat burn when running? ›

The question is not how often should you run to burn belly fat - more important is the type of running you do. Studies have shown that high-intensity workouts which involve a high level of exertion for a short period of time are more effective at burning fat, particularly in the belly.

Is it harder to run in heat or humidity? ›

"Of all the climate measurements we take to assess heat risk for our runners, humidity is the biggest factor," says George Chiampas, D.O., the medical director of the Chicago Marathon. Humidity makes warm summer runs even more taxing because the higher the moisture content of the air, the hotter it feels.

How can I increase my stamina in hot weather? ›

Fortunately, we have some tips to help you to safely work out on even the hottest of summer days.
  1. Take a cold shower. ...
  2. Stay hydrated with the RIGHT fluids. ...
  3. Wear light clothing. ...
  4. Don't forget the sunscreen. ...
  5. Timing is everything. ...
  6. Don't fear the water. ...
  7. Take it indoors. ...
  8. Know your limits.
Jul 23, 2017

Does heat make cardio harder? ›

On a hot day, your cardiovascular system ramps up its efforts to radiate heat to cool you down. Your heart beats faster and pumps harder, and may circulate two to four times as much blood each minute as it does on a cool day.

What are 3 signs of heat exhaustion? ›

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Weakness.
  • Irritability.
  • Thirst.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Elevated body temperature.

Why do I feel so weak in hot weather? ›

In extreme summer heat, or in prolonged periods of outdoor exposure to hot temperatures, our bodies work overtime to regulate how we feel. It takes massive amounts of energy to maintain a normal and consistent body temperature, moreso on very hot days. All this energy use can cause us to feel tired and sluggish.

Why does my body overheat so easily? ›

Sweating more or feeling hotter than usual can be due to medication, hormonal changes, stress, or an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or an overactive thyroid.


1. Benefits of training in the heat
(Andrej Vistica)
2. Hot Weather Running Tips (Heat Adaptation!) + Summer Gear
(Running With Jane)
3. How to Survive Running in the Summer Heat
4. How to Train for Running in the Heat
(Floris Gierman)
5. Training in the Heat | Hydration, Cardiovascular Adaptation, and Heat Acclimatization
(The Movement System)
(Jeremy Tri)
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