Running in humidity

Running in humidity

This morning was humid.

Why am I saying ‘was”?

Still is.

Big difference is that now I am inside my study, with the A/C on.  This morning I was out running in what my phone app assured me was 89% humidity but felt more like 300%.


Actually, from the screen shot of how Delhi was at 6am this morning, looks like today isn’t great for anything .

My favourite statistic, by the way, is the hair frizz risk.  Check it every day.  I kid you not.

Those of you who know me will understand why, since I have the messiest hair on the planet.  And curly hair + humidity = even messier than usual.  Trust me.

Yes, yes, as you say –  let’s get back to the humidity, shall we?

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You all know the science behind humidity and how our bodies react to it, so I won’t repeat it here, but if you do want a good informative analysis of how our bodies behave in humidity, then do read this article from  Very well explained.

All the websites I checked for advice re running in humid conditions are –  as I have remarked before here – phoren, and so obviously do not address our deshi problems.

Stands to reason.

But there’s not much point showing me photos of men running T-shirt-less (though that does happen here) and of women running in skimpy crop tops and teensy shorts, to beat the heat.  It’s bad enough going out in Delhi wearing normal running capri-style trousers, but the idea of going our wearing even less clothing just doesn’t work here.

A propos – I was behind a young Indian girl who was running in the street yesterday morning.  About 7.30 am.  She was young – probably in her early 20s – lean and fit, and was wearing running shorts (modest, not at all skimpy, but shorts) and a baggy T shirt, and as she overtook a gaggle of boys heading to school, they all started sniggering and giggling, until I galumphed past them.

Perhaps they were innocently giggling and sniggering about their maths homework but I very much doubt it, so I asked them what was so funny, and that shut them up pretty pronto.

Anyway, yes – long aside over –  the solution to this hot and humid weather does not lie in wearing less clothing.  Not here in Delhi, it doesn’t.

Nor does advice about going out earlier to beat the heat really work here.  We are all out running very early as it is, given our climate, so unless we start getting up at 3am, there’s not much one can do, is there?

So, what to do?

• I take my runs w-a-y slower in this weather, and drink a lot of water (a future post about loos, methinks…)

• After my poor show at my last HM, I take along some fruit gums to chew on, to give me some energy.  They are usually sticky as hell by the time I remember to eat them, but I guess a bit of sugar gets into the system.  It’s an odd diet for so early in the morning – sticky fruit gums and raisins which have become sticky by association.

Ah well, needs must.

And yes, I know, I know, really need to add salt to this odd diet.

• I carry my camelback with at least 1 litre of water, and since it has been in the fridge overnight, that initial coldness on my back seems to help.

• I wear a hat against the sun and I somehow feel it soaks up some of the sweat that otherwise trickles down into my eyes.

Trawling through all the various foriegn running sites for advice, I did come across a great idea:

“Wet and freeze your hat or a bandana the night before longer runs.”

Trying that tomorrow, for sure.

So, other than running slower and listening to our bodies, and hydrating properly –  what else should we be doing?  If you have advice and tips, do please share with us all.


And I shall end with the real reason I run so slowly in this humidity – I have a perfect excuse.  I’m old!

“Age is another variable—over time, your body becomes less adaptable to heat; age-related changes to sweat glands can decrease sweat production and reduce the body’s ability to cool itself effectively.”

Thank you 🙂

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  1. Like you, i run very slow on humid days to–by force mostly. If i am going to be doing a long run (anything over 5 k) in the humidity, I work out a route so i’d be near a coconut seller mid-way; stop, sip on tender coconut water. walk for a bit so I don’t get stitches and then resume running. Oh I dont much care about the hair frizz; my biggest problem is the pimples I get afterwards–from all the sweat and grime. Return with a couple after every long run! :/

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