Coping With The Frustration Of Virginia Heat – Part I

Run – Bike – Exercise – At the right time of day!

Morning and evening temperatures are *usually* “cooler” in Northern Virginia, though I think we’d all agree cooler is a relative term. Still, early mornings, when the sun has been absent the longest can be 20 degrees cooler or more. Condensation has trapped many airborne pollutants, making the air cleaner, and humidity significantly lower, making this the ideal time to run in a Virginia summer.

Evenings aren’t as good as morning, but they sure beat the middle of a Virginia summer day. While the air and ground haven’t had as much time to cool and airborne pollutants are still airborne, the radiant heat of the sun is absent making it much easier to stay cool on a run or ride.

Run right after the rain.

I’ve also exercised right after one of the typical late afternoon thunderstorms that have been so common this summer. While the humidity can be much higher, the air is much cleaner having just been “washed.” With enough rain there is some evaporative cooling. The hot ground uses up its stored heat to evaporate the water and the net result is the ground is much cooler. One final benefit of running after it rains is the weather is often cooler. Summer rain storms happen when a cold front and hot front collide. If it’s been hot for several days, rain is a harbinger for cooler temperatures.

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