Friday, June 03, 2016
Running the Cork Marathon when the Weather is Hot...by Fergus Wall
For anyone running Cork marathon the bulk of their race preparation happens over the winter/spring.
With the June weekend comes humidity and sometimes heat. This Monday looks like it is going to be hot & humid. Most runners know the importance of hydration and the many precautions to take in hot weather (hat, glasses, sun cream, dry-fit clothing etc.) but how many runners give due consideration to the impact of weather to their performance. All fine to be spectating in beautiful sunshine, but running 26.2 miles!
Anyone who took part in 2009 (myself included) will remember the effect that heat had on our performance.
Ideal conditions (with the best chance of establishing a new PB) for you to run your best are:
• Temperature 10°C,
• Humidity Low
• Wind Light or none
• Cloud Light, slightly overcast
• Time of day early morning (not midday)
When these conditions change your performance will be affected,
Conditions for Monday (Accuweather Thursday forecast) are:
• Temperature 17°-18°C,
• Humidity 84%
• Wind SE 18 km/h
• Cloud 45%
• Time of day 09:00 & 10:45
• How acclimatised are you to hot weather (at least May has been warm)
• Individual difference, [we are all an experiment of 1, some people love the heat]
• Length of time you will be running:
o Shorter distance (i.e. Relay runners) the performance impact may be less,
o Half marathon, mild effect,
o Full marathon, most definitely will be a factor,
What to do:
There is nothing much you can do about the weather, except hide the ‘Child of Prague’ however the key to having a relatively successful day in the heat is to adjust downward your goals/pace for the conditions.
Your body needs up to two weeks to fully acclimatise to the heat, but as we have been tapering, you have had little experience of running in the heat, it’s too little & too late now. Only consolation each and every runner is faced with the same weather and apart from Nollaig Hunter we can’t all be spending the week in Lanzarote?
Do Not put Time in the Bank
Remember the old adage ‘Seconds at the start, Minutes at the end’, thanks Matthew Geeden,
so rather than overheating in the early miles and having a terrible experience down the Carrigrohane Straight just run at a slower pace from early on.
If next Monday you go out fast, and try to put ‘Time in the Bank’ you will slow dramatically in the later miles. Slow your pace using the table below as a guide. Of course, this is dependent on how well you have trained/prepared for the event, how gung-ho you are but a marathon is an unforgiving place for risk-takers.
Fergus has put together a very useful chart which shows how performance drops with temperature. Click HERE