Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Running the Cork Marathon when the Weather is Fergus Wall

Friday, June 03, 2016

Running the Cork Marathon when the Weather is Fergus Wall

Running in 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

Other considerations:
•    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


Anonymous said...

another good reason why the marathon needs to be moved to april

Anonymous said...

Good article, thanks. Useful chart too - although I believe example 1 should read "drop pace from 06:00 to 06:05".

Anonymous said...

"another good reason why the marathon needs to be moved to april"

I thought everyone was only trying to move it by a day :)

Anonymous said...

84% humidity.. Wow. Quick Q. I'm running the full.. Is there sufficient water stations to keep adequately hydrated. Finding the heat is effecting my preparations mentally.

Anonymous said...

you should have hydrated in the last week but bring a bottle to the start line. i hope the organizers are well prepared

Anonymous said...

everybodys on the same boat

IaR said...

Best advice I got was to wear a light peak hat. Some hats have spf 50 which is a bonus.

When running dublin a few years back it hit 19C in October!! Obviously had time to adjust over the summer but an Irish summer is cold. I didn't over drink at the start due to too many pit stops. Came in to the 16 water station and felt a slight thirst. I walked through the station and drank 2 bottles. Ran a PB that day.

In general if your thirsty it's getting too late. There is always plenty water on the course.

Anonymous said...

Lads.. The t-shirt is terrible.. Large is like a tight medium.. Poor quality..

alanoshea said...

Some great advice from Fergus.Just one thing to add.drinking too much water on race day can cause serious harm and even death.It results in a condition call hyponatraemia in which the sodium in the blood becomes low.The longer you are out running the more you are at risk.General guidelines are to drink to thirst or no more that 400-800ml/hr.