Fitness Friday – What’s the RWI?

Summer running…what a pain in the tush!  Seriously, every year I just think that magically my body will adapt and I’ll be able to keep up my winter time paces, I won’t sweat a ton and I’ll just feel awesome after every run.  LIES, I tell ya, LIES!  I’ve struggled more this year than last year it seems, maybe another joy of turning the big 4-0.  I’m less tolerant to heat and humidity now?!  I wouldn’t put it past that.

With each season change, I tend to search for information on how to help with the weather’s affects on runners and the do’s and don’ts of running.  Sure I know I have to hydrate more during the summer, I need to try to pick times of the day that are cooler, wear light weight, light color fabrics, etc…but really, can’t there just be an app that says “Go run now! It’s the perfect time of day!”  Well, guess what?!  There is!


The weather at my house (left) and info about the app (right)

The Weather Channel has just moved up to a higher standing in our house!  Yes, we all know that I’m married to a weather nerd, so the love we have for all things weather is even greater!  Their new app, OutSider, is awesome!  (available in App Store for free; sorry, no Android version yet!) I about had a fainting spell when I saw what it could do.

Based on your current location, it will tell you if it is an ideal time to run outside at that very moment or you can plan your run later for when the conditions are more optimal.  You can actually run with your phone to track your run through GPS.  Their idea for the app is to track your runs to see how the weather affects them, but since I already know how the weather affects my summertime runs (insert…ugh!), I’m using the app more for information that will help me to plan my runs for the week and to know what to expect as far as how the weather might affect me.    I rather do speed work on a day with decent temperatures and humidity than a day where I feel like I can’t take another step within the first mile.

It calculates a number, The RWI (Run Weather Index), 1-10 (1 being “Run in this?  You’re crazy!” to a 10, “Run, my friend, run!”) based on the current temperature, humidity, cloud cover, air quality, wind and chance of precipitation.  You can even adjust how each weather condition affects you personally, for example I upped my humidity and temperature but lowered my rain.  Rain is good for summertime running in my book!

You can also plan your runs for the week by looking at another screen that shows you an hourly forecast and the RWI for that time frame.  For example, I now know that for tomorrow’s run, I can go anytime from 6am to 10am and it’ll be a 7 for those hours.  Saves me from having to get up too early to get a run in! Why yes, OutSider, I will sleep a bit longer!  Thanks!

It also gives you a basic idea of how each day rates as well, with the Monday, the 14th being a tough day to run (aka easy day), but Saturday is going to be pretty good!2014-07-10 11.07.27

Now, I can’t speak to how accurate the information is, but it does give me a better idea of what the weather might be like and how it might affect me on a run.  Will I use it every time before I run?  Maybe not.  I will consult it for sure before a long run or a speed work day, which tend to be that much harder in the summer already.

Check it out and let me know what you think too.  How would you use the app?

Check out other Fitness Friday posts

Happy Running!

3 thoughts on “Fitness Friday – What’s the RWI?

  1. I NEED this app – though my Weather Channel app has been failing me as of late (why won’t it load?). I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten stuck in a thunderstorm this summer (cue lightning). It would also be super beneficial for when you’re traveling and not familiar with the local weather. Thanks for sharing!

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