Summer Speed workout tonight canceled due to poor air quality; run inside or with an N95 mask

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, runners, but given the air quality health advisory in place for our area, with an AQI over 100, I’m canceling tonight’s Summer Speed workout at Stewart Park. We’ll pick up again next Tuesday night.

From the reading I’ve done, it’s probably not actively dangerous for most people to exercise outside today, especially if the wildfire smoke from Canada abates quickly so it’s a short-term situation. However, for an optional workout, where the amount of air you breathe in is significantly increased while running hard and breathing through your mouth, there’s no reason to crud up your lungs with fine particulate matter and flirt with potential health risks.

If you do wish to run or walk (safer, because you’re breathing much less air) outside while the AQI remains over 100, consider wearing one of those N95 masks that you undoubtedly still have kicking around. Worn properly, it will filter out 95% of the fine particulate matter in the air from wildfire smoke. Standard medical and cloth masks may be better than nothing but aren’t considered effective.

Let’s hope high AQI numbers don’t become a regular occurrence this summer!

If you’re looking for more local AQI readings, particularly for the Ellis Hollow Creek Crossings course, there are three sensors in Ellis Hollow that report AQI readings. (They were installed by several of our neighbors to track air quality related to the Borger natural gas compression station.) They’re showing an AQI of around 160, which is worse than what appears in the more general maps in standard weather apps. Zoom out on the PurpleAir map to see more stations around the country. (On the iPhone, the included Weather app has a good AQI display. Lots of other apps on iOS and Android will show AQI as well.)

Thank you for the suggestions and I’m sorry to hear practice had to be cancelled. It’s definitely hazy here in Vestal today too. Pretty wild…and scary…here I thought my sister who lives out west was the only one of us to deal with poor air quality from wildfires. :pensive:

Looks like the Tompkins County Health Department agrees about canceling our workout tonight:

I can see the BU Nature Preserve from my house and took a couple of comparison shots from the hill in my backyard, one from a few hours ago and one just now. The AQ is getting worse as the day goes on, with our air here now visibly darker and unmistakably tan in color. I’m sure Ithaca must be looking pretty similar right about now. And I love the smell of campfire smoke…just not like this. :sob: