Is There a Best Temperature for Running?

By Medscape Staff

October 27, 2021

Weather can have a significant impact on race results. Researchers set out to determine the perfect conditions for the best running performance.

What to know:

  • Analyzing results from running races and racewalks since 1936 — including the marathon, 10,000 meters, 5000 meters, and more — researchers from the University of Thessaly in Greece aimed to determine the ideal running conditions.

  • The study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, applied machine learning algorithms to a database of race results and weather records.

  • The results showed that the most important aspect of the weather affecting performance was air temperature, followed by relative humidity, then solar radiation (which considered cloud cover), and then wind speed.

  • The ideal Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature, a composite of all four weather metrics, was found to be between 45.5°F and 59°F (7.5°C to 15°C).

  • Race times at shorter running races were also less affected by higher temperatures than those at longer races like the marathon, where the best temperature was found to be 45.5°F (7.5°C)

This is a summary of the article "Here's How Weather Conditions Affect Your Running Speed" published by Outside on October 27. The full article can be found on outsideonline.com.

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