"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Perfect Marathon Temperature .... Brrrrrrr!

Experience has taught most runners that a cooler temperature on race day is a good thing.  We have all seen the clips of the infamous 2007 Chicago Marathon that was called off due to the heat, and we have all trained through summer swelters that litterally zap us (for example: ZAPPED! ).  But how cool is too cool, and what is the ideal temperature that can provide you with the best opportunity for a new PR? Glad you asked ......

Researchers with the US Army conducted the following test:

Tracking race results across seven North American marathons, the researchers compared the temperature with the finishing times of the 25th, 50th, 100th and 300th place finishers.  They established that "There is progressive slowing of marathon performance as ambient temperature increases from 41 degrees F to 77 degrees F. This seems true for men and women of wide ranging abilities, but performance is more negatively affected for slower populations of runners." 

Yes, that's right, 41 degrees F is the ideal temperature for most of us average runners.  By the way, a similar study concluded that for elite racers (the actual winners of these marathons) the ideal race temperature was between 51 - 55 degrees F.  So you might want to keep the weather in mind as you begin to select your next marathon.  And in case you are wondering, Washington DC on October 30th is forecasted to start the day around 44 degrees.  Maybe the stars are aligned after all!

1 comment:

  1. Brrr...I still think 41 degrees I would feel like I'm running in the picture of you and the penguins.