Three Reasons To Run In The Heat

Ok, it's safe to say that summer is officially here. It's also the time of the year training starts for a lot of fall marathons (Berlin, Chicago, NYC). So the other day, during a particularly hot and humid run, I had to wonder if there was any benefit to running in the heat of the summer or am I just torturing myself and should make friends with the treadmill. So I did some research and found that there are some very good reasons why you should run outside.

  1. It will increase your fitness. Your body learns how to work out at a more intense level, so when you are in “normal” conditions, it feels easier. I think that's why I like running the NYC marathon so much. I've been sweating buckets the whole summer and then the temperatures drop and I feel a million times faster.
  2. You will increase your VO2 max. The hot weather requires the body to increase its blood flow. Since it expands its volume, it can pump more blood out to vital organs, this helps make our hearts more efficient. Having an efficient body will make you a faster runner.
  3. You will strengthen your mental muscles. It's hard for me to get up super early to get my run in before it gets crazy hot out but I know that's what I have to do. I'm becoming more disciplined about rising and shining. It also takes some mental toughness to stay out once I start running, to keep grinding and pushing through no matter how much I want to quit. (Sidenote: A good book to read about mental toughness during running is How Bad Do You Want It? The Psycology of Mind Over Muscle I'm actually rereading it right now.)

Three really good reasons to run outside, not to mention that the water fountains are all turned on, it gets lighter earlier and stays light later, and you don't have to spend 30 minutes hunting for your other glove. I spent most of this winter running with one glove and one mitten. So stylish, I know.

Need some more motivation to get running in the heat? My teammate is preparing to run Bad Water 135 tomorrow, which is a 135 mile ultra marathon through Death Valley. My coach told me the temperature today was over 110 degrees. Can you imagine?! Suddenly 80 degrees seems like nothing.


Stay cool bbs!