Performance and Thermal Perceptions of Runners Competing in the London Marathon: Impact of Environmental Conditions

VERNON, Tim, RUDDOCK, Alan and GREGORY, Maxine (2021). Performance and Thermal Perceptions of Runners Competing in the London Marathon: Impact of Environmental Conditions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (16).

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The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon (2018 VMLM) was the hottest in the race’s 37-year history. The aims of this research were to (1) survey novice mass participation marathoners to examine the perceptual thermal demands of this extreme weather event and (2) investigate the effect of the air temperature on finish times. A mixed-methods design involving the collection of survey data (n = 364; male = 63, female = 294) and secondary analysis of environmental and marathon performance (676,456 finishers) between 2001 and 2019 was used. The 2018 VMLM mean finishing time was slower than the mean of all other London marathons; there were positive correlations between maximum race day temperature and finish time for mass-start participants, and the difference in maximum race day temperature and mean maximum daily temperature for the 60 days before the London Marathon (p 0.05). Of the surveyed participants, 23% classified their thermal sensation as ‘warm’, ‘hot’ or ‘very hot’ and 68% ‘thermally comfortable’ during training, compared with a peak of 95% feeling ‘warm’, ‘hot’ or ‘very hot’ and 77% ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘very uncomfortable’ during the 2018VMLM. Organisers should use temperature forecasting and plan countermeasures such as adjusting the start time of the event to avoid high temperatures, help runners predict finish time and adjust pacing strategies accordingly and provide safety recommendations for participants at high-risk time points as well as cooling strategies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: **Journal IDs: eissn 1660-4601 **History: published 10-08-2021; accepted 07-08-2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: running, endurance, heat, thermoregulation, weather, cooling
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SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 10:23
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2021 10:30

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