Impact of weather on marathon-running performance.
ABSTRACT Marathon running performance slows in warm weather conditions, but the quantitative impact of weather has not been established.
To quantify the impact of weather on marathon performance for different populations of runners.
Marathon results and weather data were obtained for the Boston, New York, Twin Cities, Grandma's, Richmond, Hartford, and Vancouver Marathons for 36, 29, 24, 23, 6, 12, and 10 yr, respectively. The race results were broken into quartiles based on the wet-bulb globe temperature (Q1 5.1-10 degrees C, Q2 10.1-15 degrees C, Q3 15.1-20 degrees C, and Q4 20.1-25 degrees C). Analysis of the top three male and female finishers as well as the 25th-, 50th-, 100th-, and 300th-place finishers were compared with the course record and then contrasted with weather.
Marathon performances of top males were slower than the course record by 1.7 +/- 1.5, 2.5 +/- 2.1, 3.3 +/- 2.0, and 4.5 +/- 2.3% (mean +/- SD) for Q1-Q4, respectively. Differences between Q4 and Q1, Q2, and between Q3, and Q1 were statistically different (P < 0.05). The top women followed a similar trend (Q1 3.2 +/- 4.9, Q2 3.2 +/- 2.9, Q3 3.8 +/- 3.2, and Q4 5.4 +/- 4.1% (mean +/- SD)), but the differences among quartiles were not statistically significant. The 25th-, 50th-, 100th-, and 300th-place finishers slowed more than faster runners as WBGT increased. For all runners, equivalence testing around a 1% indifference threshold suggests potentially important changes among quartiles independently of statistical significance.
There is a progressive slowing of marathon performance as the WBGT increases from 5 to 25 degrees C. This seems true for men and women of wide ranging abilities, but performance is more negatively affected for slower populations of runners.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the core to skin temperature gradient during incremental running to volitional fatigue across varying environmental conditions. A secondary aim was to determine if a “critical” core temperature would dictate volitional fatigue during running in the heat. 60 participants (n=49 male, n=11 female; 24±5 yrs, 177±11 cm, 75±13 kg) completed the study. Participants were uniformly stratified into a specific exercise temperature group (18 °C, 26 °C, 34 °C, or 42 °C) based on a 3-mile run performance. Participants were equipped with core and chest skin temperature sensors and a heart rate monitor, entered an environmental chamber (18 °C, 26 °C, 34 °C, or 42 °C), and rested in the seated position for 10 minutes before performing a walk/run to volitional exhaustion. Initial treadmill speed was 3.2 km·hr−1 with a 0% grade. Every 3 minutes, starting with speed, speed and grade increased in an alternating pattern (speed increased by 0.805 km hr−1, grade increased by 0.5%). Time to volitional fatigue was longer for the 18 °C and 26 °C group compared to the 42 °C group, (58.1±9.3 and 62.6±6.5 minutes versus 51.3±8.3 minutes, respectively, p<0.05). At the half-way point and finish, the core to skin gradient for the 18 °C and 26 °C groups was larger compared to 42 °C group (Half way: 2.6±0.7 and 2.0±0.6 vs. 1.3±0.5 for the 18 °C, 26 °C and 42 °C groups, respectively; Finish: 3.3±0.7 and 3.5±1.1 vs. 2.1±0.9 for the 26 °C, 34 °C, and 42 °C groups, respectively, p<0.05). Sweat rate was lower in the 18 °C group compared to the 26 °C, 34 °C, and 42 °C groups, 3.6±1.3 vs 7.2±3.0, 7.1±2.0, and 7.6±1.7 g•m−2•minutes−1, respectively, p<0.05. There were no group differences in core temperature and heart rate response during the exercise trials. The current data demonstrate a 13% and 22% longer run time to exhaustion for the 18 °C and 26 °C group, respectively, compared to the 42 °C group despite no differences in beginning and ending core temperature or baseline 3-mile run time. This capacity difference appears to result from a magnified core to skin gradient via an environmental temperature advantageous to convective heat loss, and in part from an increased sweat rate.Journal of Thermal Biology 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.04.002 · 1.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Challenging environmental conditions including heat and humidity are associated with particular risks to the health of runners and triathletes during prolonged events. The heat production of a runner is the product of its energy cost of running (C r) by its velocity. Since C r varies greatly among humans, those individuals with high C r are more exposed to heat stress in warm and humid conditions. Although risk factor awareness is crucial to the prevention of heat stroke and potential fatalities associated therewith, how C r affects the highest sustainable velocity (V) at which maximal heat loss matches heat production has not been quantified to date. Here, we computed in virtual runners weighting 45-75 kg, the influence of C r variability from 3.8 to 4.4 J·m(-1)·kg(-1) on V. Heat loss by radiation, convection, and conduction was assessed from known equations including body dimensions, running velocity (3.4-6.2 m·s(-1)), air temperature (T a, 10-35 °C) and relative humidity (r h, 50, 70 and 90 %). We demonstrated a marked and almost linear influence of C r on V in hot and humid conditions: +0.1 J·kg(-1)·m(-1) in C r corresponded to -4 % in V. For instance, in conditions 25 °C r h 70 %, 65-kg runners with low C r could sustain a running speed of 5.7 m·s(-1) as compared to only 4.3 m·s(-1) in runners with high C r, which is huge. We conclude that prior knowledge of individual C r in athletes exposed to somewhat warm and humid environments during prolonged running is one obvious recommendation for minimizing heat illness risk.Arbeitsphysiologie 07/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00421-013-2696-6 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The popularity of competitive endurance riding is growing worldwide and this has led to considerable changes in the discipline (e.g., fitter and faster horses and different types of injuries), which create challenges to all involved in the sport, including veterinarians. During endurance competitions, horses are closely monitored by veterinarians throughout the ride, with the aim of removing from the competition animals whose welfare appears to be endangered. This close monitoring provides veterinarians with an insight into problems during competitions. However, there is a relatively small amount of clinically relevant, evidence-based data published on endurance horses, and this article reviews the evolution of the discipline, the published information on epidemiological data on endurance rides, the problems veterinarians face at competitions, and highlights those areas where research is warranted.The Veterinary Journal 07/2012; 194(3). DOI:10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.06.022 · 2.17 Impact Factor