Perks of running during a heat wave

July 23, 2006

1. Muscles feel really, really limber.

2. Running shirtless inspires fewer motorist/pedestrian insults than it normally would.

3. Post-run weigh-ins provide an illusion of thinness.

4. No need to use a towel after post-run showers.


  1. Downside to running during a heat wave, or at any other time: risk of death due to overhydration. Or so the CBC news just claimed. The CBC national news here (Canada) just ran a substantial piece on the possibly fatal danger of drinking too much water while running. I missed the very beginning of the report, so I don't know what prompted this report. Although relative to the news about Lebanon that surrounded the piece, I suppose it qualified as light relief…

  2. Yup — hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood, often caused by drinking too much water) is a legitimate and serious concern. If you lose water and electrolytes in your sweat, and you only replace the water, that can be a problem.

  3. Oh, there's certainly a risk. But the CBC report provided no estimate of the risk, unless I missed it at the very beginning of the report (and somehow I doubt it). From the length and tone of the report, you'd have thought scores of Canadian runners were dropping dead every day of hyponatremia. It very much came off as one of the scare stories that TV news shows often do to chase ratings ("Can drinking water kill you? That story next!"). Sad stuff from the CBC, which used to have (and deserve) a very good reputation.I suppose Canadians may tend to overrate the risk because they perceive any temperature over 25 C to be sweltering. No joke–I have colleagues who talk about Montreal and Ottawa as if they were tropical cities.

  4. Well, one can never be too careful — that "dihydrogen monoxide" is dangerous stuff! (www.dhmo.org)

  5. How about these perks?:1. Clear out your pores (like a sauna).2. Doubles for sun bathing.3. Allows you to make use of your running bottles/hydration systems.4. Not as much laundry to do.

  6. Yep — I like the laundry one! (Sunbathing I can do without….)

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