It Is Possible To Run And Bike In The Heat And Humidity


Are you someone who, given a choice, would much rather prefer to be outside rather than remain cooped up indoors?

Kinda tough to remain active in the killer San Antonio heat and humidity, though.

So no one would likely blame you for deciding that perhaps you need to take a hiatus from outdoor activity during the summer, even basic and fun stuff like running and biking.

But you don't need to be a hardcore competitive athlete who trains year-round — no matter the weather — to remain active and retain fitness.

Bottom line: Just accept the reality. The heat and humidity are here to stay; they ain't going anywhere.

So work with what you've got, rather than try to fight it or, even worse, throwing in the towel and go all polar bear by putting your love for running or biking on hibernation mode.

So how to go about it, you ask? Running and biking experts in the Alamo City said there are some basics that most beginning or recreational athletes should keep in mind. But there's definitely no reason to not get out there and do your thing, they noted.

Though there are some obvious differences in needs and training for runners and bikers, experts said that to survive the SA summer, the most important thing is hydration.

Taking in a mix of water and electrolytes is key. Taking a couple of swigs after the workout is not good enough. Ideally, you're already drinking water throughout the day, particularly in the hours leading up to the workout.

And though humidity tends to be higher in the early morning, temperatures are lower and thus it's the best time to head out.

Experts also recommend that people go out with friends, training buddies or a group — it's more motivational, safer and, should something happen to you, others can provide immediate help.

For runners, Joan Bobrukiewiez of San Antonio Road Runners said it's OK to have goals, but they should be limited in the summer.

If all you can manage is a mile or two, that's still better than sitting on the couch.

"Know your limits and listen to your body," she said.

If you want to race, the 5K (3.1 miles) is a good, safe distance and there are a bunch of 'em just about every weekend.

For bikers, Mario Dávila, manager of Bike World's Alamo Heights store on Broadway, said most folks can aim for riding two to three times a week. If you can get in at least 10 miles, that's plenty, he said.

If you're feeling competitive, it's best just to maintain fitness over the summer (most races are at least 60 miles) and then ramp it up in the fall and into the winter.

"Don't make the mistake of riding without a shirt," Dávila explained. "Exposing skin is actually worse, plus you're risking serious sunburn."

So, yes, it's actually possible to be a runner or biker in San Antonio during the summer.

Drumming up determination is half the fight.

The other is actually making it out the door.

What are you waiting for?

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