Heat Training: Pace adjustments, benefits & tips


If you aren’t… you should be❗️

You WILL run slower during the summer months. Some will struggle more than others, but the effort of a certain pace at 50 degrees will feel VERY different than that same at pace at 80 degrees

So what do we do? We adjust our paces to account for the heat and humidity! Heat illnesses are very real and very serious, so we need to be careful and keep our effort levels in check ✅

🔥60 DEGREES: Adjust 5-10 seconds per mile (1%)
🔥65 DEGREES: Adjust 10-15 seconds per mile (2.5%)
🔥70 DEGREES: Adjust 25-35 seconds per mile (5%)
🔥80 DEGREES: Adjust 45-60 seconds per mile (10-15%)
🔥85+ DEGREES: Be cautious!

Just because you are running slower does NOT mean you are losing fitness. You are still able to get in solid training in the summer. You will see your paces get faster again when cooler temps roll in. Treat it like altitude training. When you go back down to sea level (go back to cooler temps in this case), you will see those faster paces again!

☀️Happy summer running!☀️


Your body has to work a lot harder to keep you cool in the heat! Then when you race/run in cooler temps, your body won’t have to work as hard to keep your core body temperature down. You’ll have a lot of spare mental & physical energy that your body is accustomed to putting towards keeping you cool to instead put towards running fast 💪

✅INCREASED BLOOD PLASMA VOLUME: Similar to how altitude stimulates your body to produce more red blood cells, heat stimulates your body to produce more plasma (the liquid part of the blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body). This results in a greater cardiac output (volume of blood being pumped by the heart) and higher VO2 at a given effort

✅INCREASED RATE OF PERSPIRATION: As you get acclimated to the heat, your body will begin sweating earlier than it did previously to improve its cooling process. After adapting for only a few weeks, you’ll secrete less electrolytes in your sweat and regulate your temperature more efficiently. Then when you run in cooler temps, you will have a super efficient cooling system

✅DECREASED BLOOD LACTATE: Blood lactate accumulation during submaximal exercise decreases following heat acclimatization

✅MENTAL TOUGHNESS: Aside from the physiological benefits from training in the heat, there is also a huge mental component to it. No matter how physiologically acclimated you get to the heat, it’s still very difficult to run in and it will make you appreciate and take advantage of your 50 degree weather on race day!


Temperature alone is ❌NOT❌ the most important number to look at when determining how comfortable your run will be. Check out how humidity, dew point, and heat index affect our bodies & training:👇

✅HUMIDITY: Concentration/presence of water vapor in the air. It’s usually measured as relative humidity, which is a percentage of the highest possible absolute humidity. Humans are VERY sensitive to humidity because our skin needs air to get rid of moisture. Sweating allows us to cool down but when it’s very humid, our sweat can’t evaporate into the air so we feel a lot hotter when it is very humid 🥴

✅DEW POINT: A better judge of how comfortable it will be outside than relative humidity. The temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor. The higher the dew point, the greater the amount of moisture in the air. Relative humidity can be deceiving. EXAMPLE: A temp of 30/dew point of 30 will give you a relative humidity of 100%, but a temperature of 80/dew point of 60 would be a relative humidity of 50%. It would feel much more “humid” on the 80 degree day with 50% relative humidity than on the 30 degree day with a 100% relative humidity

🔥Less than or equal to 55: dry and comfortable
🔥Between 55 and 65: feels “sticky”
🔥Greater than or equal to 65: lots of moisture in the air, VERY uncomfortable

✅HEAT INDEX: What the temperature “feels like” when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. EXAMPLE: If the air temperature is 100°F and the relative humidity is 55%, the heat index will be 124°F. This is assuming that you are in a shady area. If you are in direct sunlight, the heat index can be increased by up to 15°F!

🔥80-90 Fahrenheit: CAUTION. Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity
🔥90-103 F: EXTREME CAUTION. Heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity
🔥103-124 F: DANGER. Heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely, and heat stroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity
🔥125 F and higher: EXTREME DANGER. Heat stroke highly likely

👉SOURCE: National Weather

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