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Effect of wind/cold in NYC marathon?

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  • Effect of wind/cold in NYC marathon?

    It's obvious that a cold, gusty wind is going to slow times over a 26.2 mile race...but I wonder, how much?

    Looking at the times of the top finishes gives me a clue...they all seemed about 4-5 minutes off what they were aiming for in the race. Of course, some are more affected by cold/wind than others but I think, on average, the times were slowed about 3-6 minutes.

    Other opinions?

  • #2
    The first factor is that the wind slows the runners. The next element is that it affects the lead runner more than following runners. The third is that there are no rabbits at NYC. The three elements combine to make the race a tactical one that is not likely to be won in the fastest possible times even given the conditions. Thus, the effects of the elements on running time, per se, is somewhat less than the observed time minus the course record time.

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    • #3
      The longer you are out there the more the impact. For the plodders the impact had to have been greater.

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      • #4
        I'm guessing the temperature was close to optimal for running a marathon.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gh View Post
          I'm guessing the temperature was close to optimal for running a marathon.
          But the wind chill (and interference) was not.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BYU grad View Post
            But the wind chill (and interference) was not.
            The temperature was not that low, and the wind-chill effects at that temperature are not that large. Look how few of the top runners were bundled up - some had the sleeve things and some had caps, but that is about it. If it was really cold they would have been bundled up more fully. Blood plasma volumes stay higher when you do not lose as much fluid and you do not have to take in as much to drink.

            If you want to see cold, look at some of the Regional XC races on Friday in areas where the cold storm out of Alaska hits (a storm that is described as stronger than super-storm Sandy up in the Aleutian Islands). The temps might be below freezing and the wind (and just the self-generated wind of running 13mph) will make things feel colder - but they will be running in shorts and tank tops, maybe with arm warmers and caps.

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            • #7
              Is asking why the cold effects a runner a joke of a question? Or were you being for real?

              Of course the cold effects running and sprinting.. I train in temperatures of -6 degrees to 100 degrees year round.. I found that to get a best time in anything i need the min temperature to be at 75 or above.. So what does that tell you? 60s is cold.. and will make sprinting slower,, and especially anything below 60s..

              Why is this so hard to understand?

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              • #8
                To Track 400 Meters, this entire thread has nothing to do with the effect of cold weather on sprinting, but the effects of the cold and windy weather on the New York City Marathon. While watching it on the T.V. my wife turned to me and told me that she was glad that I wasn't running it this year. My reply was that I too was glad. At least it wasn't raining. I don't think that I ever comment on other people's tone, but will make an exception, as I found your comments in this previous post a bit snippy.

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                • #9
                  If it is warm enough to be comfortable for spectators it is warmer than optimal for running a marathon (at the highest levels - world-class runners). The wind is a disadvantage, but not primarily because of making the top runners cold. Its biggest effects on time are that it alters the racing dynamics -- you do not want to pace your top competitors, there are no rabbits breaking the wind, and you will not get the top time bonuses so it becomes a tactical race. Hence, it is slower even though the wind itself is not going to directly slow the race nearly that much.

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