The one with running and heat exhaustion

I have tested out heat exhaustion via running for you all,  you are welcome. Happily ever after starts here with my inside knowledge on how to never experience this for yourself.




So apparently running causes up to a TWENTY-FOLD increase in the body’s heat production. If the body likes to stay at 37 degrees C and then you make it go running in 30 degree heat, my maths tells me that it is gonna pretty much get way too hot.

What is something that most runners can relate to? We get a little stubborn about our running. We want to do it even when the conditions are not ideal. We have the idea of getting our run in for the day and darn it, we will achieve that.



I have definitely gotten more flexible about forgoing my runs, but sometimes I just cannot resist- especially when gorgeous running locations are presented. Hello every NZ beach I have ever seen.

I didn’t actually know that heatstroke was different from heat exhaustion. What I now understand thanks to my friend the internet, is that heatstroke is the really extreme version where you really need to seek medical help. Heat exhaustion is what I had- basically I suddenly got a bad headache and then lay in the throes of swirling nausea for two hours before throwing up everything I have ever eaten, twice. Me and my bucket are now on an intimate level of acquaintance.




(From here: )


As I have mentioned before, the sun in NZ is for realsies. Having said that, pretty much everything you could do to achieve heat exhaustion, I did. I like to do a thing properly, FYI 😉

For example, the above article says:

1) Wear loose fitting clothing of a light colour. Ummm I wore a tight dark coloured thick long sleeved top.

2) Keep bottles of water and non-alcoholic drinks where possible. I really don’t think I drank enough water, and yes I did have a glass of wine before dinner without having rehydrated.

3) Use common sense (okay super fail on this one) and plan your day. I ran in the middle of the day with no shade in sight.

And from the below article (which had a lot of awesome points but these were the ones most related to my experience):

1) Start slower. I maybe kinda had a mean positive split for this workout.

2) Again, wear as little as possible. So not a thick dark long sleeved top.

3) Alcohol. I didn’t have it before my run (that would have been interesting) but one little glass after did not help the situation at all, according to my bucket.



(From here: )


No worries though guys, after I threw up I felt a lot better and now I know exactly what not to do for next time. I am also willing to put my embarrassment aside at having been so silly, and share with you my pearls of newfound wisdom on this topic.

During my two hours of lying in bed feeling wretched, I didn’t really know what was wrong with me. You know when you’re sick and it’s really hard to figure anything out? I only clicked once I got better that it was too much sun and heat. So I didn’t do the below things because I didn’t realize what was wrong at the time, but if anyone gets heat exhaustion in the future I think the below things would make a big difference.



(From here: )


To sum up, the sun is beautiful, but in an “I NEED TO BE RESPECTED” way. Enjoy it but don’t mess with it, because it will take you on and it will win.



(Excuse the finger in this photo 😉 PS that is what a typical NZ beach house (we call it a Bach) looks like).
Have you ever had heatstroke/heat exhaustion? 

How flexible are you about your workout? Will you change it around depending on the weather? 



About kiwiyogirunner

I'm a kiwi girl travelling the world and staying grounded through yoga and running! Come hang out and be besties with me while I attempt to navigate my crazy life :) For more details check out my About page!
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14 Responses to The one with running and heat exhaustion

  1. Kevin says:

    You are definitely right that heat exhaustion is not a trivial problem. Respecting the conditions is vital to keep ourselves running. Keep having fun at it.


    • You are so right, I feel like I didn’t realise that properly until now and I am lucky things weren’t worse. Living and learning! Ps one of my best running buddies live in Calgary, so much respect for how you all run in that freezing cold! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely adapt my workouts to fit the weather! When it’s really hot or really cold, I’ll shorten the mileage, and when it’s really hot, I’ll usually slow the pace down, too. Glad to hear you’re okay now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha it’s hard to imagine heat exhaustion since it’s so cold here but it gets really hot here in the summer so I could definitely see it being an issue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha yeah I kinda realised when I was writing this how it wouldn’t really apply to most readers who are in winter right now, but hopefully my painful experience will be memorable enough to keep people from dealing with this when summer comes 🙂


  4. Jessica says:

    Ahh. Oh no.!! I’m so sorry to hear that. Glad you felt better afterwards though.!! Sometimes all you need is a good throwing up. Haha.

    And I always run in the mornings, year round, so I never really have to deal with the heat. But I never go to the beach, if I did, I might have to run on it also.!


  5. So true! I was like I feel like death but let’s get on with it haha. Wow you are a machine, I am terrible at waking up in the morning to run! I need your tips 🙂


  6. i think wearing the right kind of clothes is so important. A lot of people just choose their workout clothes based on what they look like, but there is so much more to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! Ironically I looked ridiculous wearing a long sleeved shirt on the beach, but thought I was being really sensible protecting myself from burning!! I didn’t factor in heat exhaustion though, so silly!


  7. I hope that you’re feeling better! I usually try to run really early in the morning when I know its going to be hot, and I carry a water bottle. You can also roll ice cubes inside of a bandana and tie it around your head…not the sexiest look, but the melting ice feels great!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have definitely reacted in a similar way to overexercising and/or not getting enough fluids/sleep and exercising. It is not fun or pretty and I totally feel your pain! As for wearing as little as possible, um, I always go for a singlet/tank top/loose fitting/mesh top and shorts. I am getting better about wearing a hat, which my eyes appreciate. We are into the double digits again here, yahoo, and I am going for a run this afternoon!

    Liked by 1 person

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