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MBABANE – The hotter it is, the slower you run- but humidity plays a role too.

When the air is full of moisture, sweating does not cool you down like it usually would. One will not be able to run as fast, because the body is trying to prevent overheating.

As runners prepare for Sunday’s eagerly awaited Wafa Wafa Half Marathon in Matsapha, temperatures are predicted to shoot to 28 Degrees Celsius on that part of the country coupled with 77 per cent precipitation and 72 per cent Humidity.

As anyone who has ever tried to finish a five-miler in steamy conditions knows, it is not just the temperature that matters, but also the humidity.

“Of all the climate measurements we take to assess heat risk for our runners when in actual fact humidity is the biggest factor,” once said George Chiampas, the medical director of the Chicago Marathon.

Humidity makes warm summer runs even more taxing because the higher the moisture content of the air, the hotter it feels.

The reason humidity matters is because when you run, your core body temperature naturally rises and your sweat glands produce droplets that carry excess heat to the surface of the skin, where it evaporates. But humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, so the heat stays put.

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