Unless you are time-crunched or embarked on a fat-loss challenge, I would only suggest running at noon as a last resort. Imagine running at 30-33 degrees Celcius at 75-90 percent humidity…not fun, is it?
In a hot and humid climate, what deters runners to do their thing outdoors include:
1) It raises and races your heart-rate rapidly.
2) Dehydration is a major issue due to increased sweating.
3) You can increase your risk of heat disorder should intensity be kept too high.
4) Looking sweat-soaked like a limped biscuit is not glamorous.
Thus, if you opt for the Spartan, outdoor-gym, remind yourself:
a)Hydration is a must. Drink every 2-3km as you would in a marathon. Stash your bottled-water at key landmarks, especially U-turn points. Remember to remove your thrash.
b) Keep your intensity/speed moderate to medium. Zone 2 heart-rate would be good for an easier run, while Zone 3 would be pushing it. Your heart-rate will go north of your normal due to the uncontrollable external heat, and still controllable internal heat buildup.
c) Wear light clothing. Cotton-shirts soak fast, and may give you nipple-rash, or worst. Get a Naked waist-band to hold your smartphone, money, keys, a pack of sports-gel, and a water-bottle.
d) Run where it is most shady – no, not in underpasses or in the air-conditioned gym. Most of the large trees in local parks are of the equatorial or rainforest varieties. They provide a larger umbrella of umbra/penumbra. Shift to where these are, even if it means moving from road to grass to sand. Just be alert when running on uneven ground.
e) Slow down if you are panting. Use the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale as an invaluable guide. Your HR-monitor is part of your backup. In fact, intensity directs how long you may run. I have run from 60-120 minutes, with less discomfort.
f) Hydrate with water upon cessation of running. While you cool down, you can do some deep stretches. Fuel up with a sports-drink (read: sugar and electrolytes) thereafter, and a carbohydrate-rich meal within an hour. Recovery takes place upon cessation of sports.
Running outdoors requires smartness extended beyond your phone. It is better to be under-cooked than be over-cooked. And, if you suffer heat disorders, your remaining workday may be impaired, as would your subsequent workouts.
Leadership Lessons: Be prepared for any emergency or exigencies. Keeping our senses alert for risks and surprises, balances the benefits to be accrued from a certain activity or intervention. For instance, when would a ‘working lunch’ be useful? It can infringe on employee rights, and personal time. Be mindful about how our personal action affects others.