General Discussion Triathlon Talk » 38 deg F (3 deg C) is the best temperature for running Rss Feed  
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2019-02-21 9:11 AM

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Cypress, Texas
Subject: 38 deg F (3 deg C) is the best temperature for running

12 years ago, when I started doing races that were more than 20 minutes long, I joined a running group to help me get through long runs and to school me on distance racing. 

I did Saturday morning long runs with the A group of Marathoners that had 7-8 guys that were competitive age group marathonists.  Some of these guys had done 25+ marathons.  One of the biggest take always from participating with this group were all the golden nuggets of information shared on our Saturday morning long runs. 

I did my first Marathon in 83 deg F (28 deg C) and 83% humidity.  I felt I did very poorly in the race since I was 45 minutes over my goal time.  The seasoned runners had different opinions on how well I did.  They said the heat and the humidity were probably a lot bigger factors than I realized and that the ideal temperature for a Marathon was about 40 deg F.  I thought they were crazy.  I didn't like running outside in shorts in temperatures under 50 degrees and didn't think that it would be an ideal day if I couldn't run in shorts.  I thought that 60 deg F. would be a more ideal day than 40 degs F.  Fast forward to this morning's run.  Today it was 38 deg F when I did my morning run with very little wind (I like how those numbers are flipped backwards from the 83 degs. F on the day of my first Marathon).  I am starting to agree that 40 deg F is about perfect for a Marathon.  I flew through 12-1/2 miles this morning at a pace that was about 20 sec/mi faster than what I had on my training plan (the pace ended up being about my race pace for the run leg of a 70.3 triathlon).  I was trying to slow down for half the run and the other half of the run I just made sure I was staying relaxed and not straining and went with what felt like an easy and comfortable pace.  So...these run days at 40 deg F are really nice.  I hit race paces without even breaking a sweat. 


Edited by BlueBoy26 2019-02-21 9:12 AM

2019-02-22 9:53 AM
in reply to: BlueBoy26

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: 38 deg F (3 deg C) is the best temperature for running

For races I'd most certainly agree, especially longer races. Anytime you can get between 35-45 and no wind you're golden. 

I'm reminded of the old advice of adding 15 degrees to whatever the current temperature is how you should think about temperature and dressing for it. I will say that sometime that the best temperature for me varies. Sometime I really enjoy running on a hot night in just shorts and shoes. I also don't mind the occasional brisk morning run where I have to be bundled up in hats, gloves, and running tights. I love all elements except where wind is involved. Wind ruins everything. 

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