Question for other runners

I am going on vacation in a week to Arizona and New Mexico and am hoping to get at least a couple of runs in as well as some body weight workouts (since I won't have a gym) just to keep me on track a little because I know I won't stay on track completely with my eating.

I am from Dothan, AL where the temperature itself is very similar to AZ and NM but humidity and elevation are drastically different. In Dothan next week, temps will be 88-93 with 66-72% humidity. Elevation is 322'. In AZ & NM it will be the same temp with 11-18% humidity and elevations is 7778'.

My question is how different will running be for me there when I'm not used to the dryer air or the elevation? Are there things I need to do to be prepared for that change? Will breathing correctly be harder for me? or do I just need to find some HIIT workouts to do for cardio instead?


  • horseryder77
    horseryder77 Posts: 224 Member
    Personally, since I live in Michigan- I don't have this problem. However, I would say it might be a little bit of a shock to run in those different elements.
    Does that mean you shouldn't do it? Heck no! Give it a go. Just be prepared for it to be different and maybe more difficult.
    If you have the time to run more than once, then maybe plan an easy, short and slow run for your first one so you can adjust to the change in elevation and temperature. Your body probably won't be used to it- and it may make it a lot harder.. but that doesn't mean you can't still do it. Just don't expect any PRs right away.

    Or who knows? Maybe the "thinner" air will be easier to breathe and you'll fly over the ground! There's really no way to tell. I say just try it, and see what happens. Go in with expectations that it'll be different, and then base your following runs on how the first one went.
  • caitlinrn83
    caitlinrn83 Posts: 178 Member
    I'm near Mobile, and to me, it's so much easier to run in the "dry" heat out west! Just remember to hydrate even more so than usual. The elevation more than anything will likely bother you-being on the coast, i have even less elevation than Dothan/Eprise, and I get an elevation headache if I don't drink way more than usual.
  • alikonda
    alikonda Posts: 2,358 Member
    It's generally easier to run in dryer heat, but elevation effects are always unpredictable. I know that I get altitude sickness and have to take it easy for the first several days I'm in a mountainous area (I live at sea level!). Be sure to hydrate, listen to your body, and don't push yourself too hard or you risk a killer headache or stomach issues.

    Walking/hiking are great exercises that will keep you moving but leave your heart rate a little lower than running/HIIT. Enjoy your vacation! :flowerforyou:
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,049 Member
    The humidity will feel amazing but wait a couple days to do a run. I did some in Colorado over 8000' last year and I typically run round 500'. Just take it easy and slow down if you're feeling winded. Easy running for sure.

  • ew_david
    ew_david Posts: 3,473 Member
    edited June 2016
    I live in AZ and moved from Ohio (humid AF, high 80s at most in the summer) last year. My first run here was BRUTAL and it is only marginally better now. The dry air here makes me feel like I'm suffocating. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Also, go as early in the day as you can. That makes a difference too.
  • jcsgirl86
    jcsgirl86 Posts: 53 Member
    Thanks for the help!!!
  • mistyh10
    mistyh10 Posts: 42 Member
    My brother lives in Yuma and I find it easier to run when I visit (I live in VA where it is cooler and more humid).
  • Vladimirnapkin
    Vladimirnapkin Posts: 299 Member
    I assure you that you can run under almost any conditions. Just don't be too hard on yourself if you can't hold your usual pace. Running when you travel will let you see things and feel places better than you ever could otherwise. Just don't get lost! Have a great trip!
  • jcsgirl86
    jcsgirl86 Posts: 53 Member
    Running when you travel will let you see things and feel places better than you ever could otherwise.

    This is exactly part of why I'm looking forward to running there. Thanks so much for the encouragement!
  • jaxCarrie
    jaxCarrie Posts: 214 Member
    hydrate. If you are running at ~8K feet too, that's a pretty steep elevation compared to 300. I know I get out of breath faster in Denver than I do in Jacksonville, FL (where I live). Just take your first run conservative. You'll get worn out quicker at the higher elevation and if you are running on different terrain (i.e. hills, even rollers are different that flats at 300 feet.) I like the lower humidity though....less sweat (but don't forget to hydrate.) seriously. hydrate.
  • lizpletan
    lizpletan Posts: 4 Member
    Ooh! My parents live in Albuquerque and used to live out in Santa Fe. I've never been to AZ, but I LOVE New Mexico and hope you have a wonderful vacation. I have lots of restaurant/things to do recs if you want some.

    As for running--like you, I live at sea level in a pretty humid climate. The dryness never bothered me so much with running and it actually feels awesome in the summer, but yes, hydrate hydrate hydrate! (During the winter, I recommend saline spray for in your nose and lots of chapstick and hand lotion.) The elevation though... hoo boy. I am able to feel it even at a brisk walk. I still run, but I get winded waaaay quicker and get fatigued faster. My mom is a marathoner who has done like 17 of them including Boston and New York, and she isn't as fast out there but I think the altitude didn't hit her as hard because she already was at a high level of fitness. She has heard that it takes about a year for your body to fully acclimate to the new altitude so that you can run as fast as you do at sea level.

    So running and working out might feel harder, but the good news is you will get fitter from it and you'll feel awesome when you get back to sea level. A lot of MMA fighters (including Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm) train in Albuquerque specifically because of the altitude.
  • FitnReady74
    FitnReady74 Posts: 10 Member
    edited June 2016
    I moved from Michigan 3yrs ago and now live south West of phoenix. I have been running south mountains off and on for a year. Up and down and in 100+ heat. The dry heat and altitude takes some adjustment but your body will take care of itself if you take care of it. I am condition enough that I drink before I run and not need any till I am done with my course. I have several courses I take depending how I feel. My warm up is from the bottom to the main look out it's 1.19 miles one way..gradual to step incline etc. Then I run down. If I feel ambitious. There is a harder course I take its all step incline and that takes me to the very top and I run that ridge line across and then to the bottom. i have not marked that one in miles but it's a tough course.. But running mountains is great cardio and you feel it when your done.. But the view from the ridge line as your running and looking down at phoenix and the valley is fantastic...I will tell you there is a technique to running mountains vs flat or hill running...being able to maintain your running pace up a step incline for a mile or 2 takes some practice and endurance if you use the right techniques... and running down.. If you get out to phoenix and near South Mountains look me up..we can go out for a run..
  • niblue
    niblue Posts: 339 Member
    A couple of years back I have to travel to Bahrain for a few weeks in the summer. The heat and humidity were drastically higher than I was used to in the UK so it did take a few runs to work out how to handle that and in the end I found what worked for me was adding in some walking intervals.

    The heat and humidity had a huge impact on my times as well - I reckoned I was 6 minutes slower over 5K.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    Personally, I notice very little change due to humidity. Elevation can have a noticeable impact though.
  • jcsgirl86
    jcsgirl86 Posts: 53 Member
    lizpletan wrote: »
    Ooh! My parents live in Albuquerque and used to live out in Santa Fe. I've never been to AZ, but I LOVE New Mexico and hope you have a wonderful vacation. I have lots of restaurant/things to do recs if you want some.

    I would love any tips/suggestions you can pass my way. Thanks!

  • jcsgirl86
    jcsgirl86 Posts: 53 Member
    [/quote]Where will you be in AZ? [/quote]

    Sedona, Flagstaff & Grand Canyon