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Thread: Temperature factor?

  1. #11
    correlation is not causation. the top 9 fastest times in the men's 1500m occur in july or august--maybe we should have a "month conversion," since obviously those are the optimal months to run fast 1500s?

    so yes i just argued with history...

    seriously, though, since i agree with the gist of what you're saying--and the marathon/10k is another beast altogether--but i would argue that austin, for example, would not have run any faster saturday had the temps been 10 degrees less, nor do i think he would have run any slower friday, assuming he had webb, rocha, and brandt to keep him company for at least half the race.

    that's my story and i'm sticking to it...

  2. #12
    "In God we trust; all others must bring data." - W. Edwards Deming

    To opine and to argue are quite different.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Wiley View Post
    "In God we trust; all others must bring data." - W. Edwards Deming

    To opine and to argue are quite different.
    ...and i'm quite aware that i'm doing both...

  4. #14
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    The races I was interested in comparing when I started this thread was the first boys sweepstakes race that started at 4:25pm (temperature was off high but still very hot 90-91) and the Individual sweepstakes race that started at 8:45am (temperature was 70 when I checked at 8am). I think this temperature difference is significant.

    I think another important factor in this conversation is what the average training temperature is for the individual athlete. I think an athlete who trains in an average temperature of 75 degrees will be more affected by 90 degrees then someone who trains in an average temperature of 90 degrees.

    Temperature must matter. Why else do all big races have the top race at a cool time of day.
    At Clovis and Mt Sac the fastest races are at cool time slots. Why is the Arcadia 3200 at 8:55pm instead of 1 or 2 pm when the stands are full and the east coast can watch it live

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by cush View Post
    ...and i'm quite aware that i'm doing both...
    In your experience as an athlete and a coach, at what point do you think weather does make a difference? You mentioned 100+ and sub freezing, but what about 99F and 33F? 98F and 34F?

    Also, from what I can tell, El G has the sixth fastest mark in history with a 3:26.96 in Rieti on September 8th

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cush View Post
    i'll second this sentiment, especially for the faster kids. heat index for a 3 mile race should be minimal--or inconsequential--for most well-conditioned kids under 17 minutes, or girls under 20 (no, i have no hard science to support these suppositions, though i'd be curious what gentleman jack's specific research is on this subject). obviously there are exceptions--even some elite kids may wilt in various forms of inclement weather--and the extreme ends of the weather spectrum (100+/below freezing) will affect virtually everyone, but i'd be reluctant to give a kid a "conversion time" even in the worst conditions...just my opinion...
    Ya, I don't see how a "conversion time" could be reached to account for heat. Too many individual variables.

    I believe friday was the hottest mt. sac race in about 5 years, and the times show. However, the final sweepstakes race friday was a world of difference from the first. The course was about 50% covered in shade and it was almost sunset for the last sweepstakes race, but the first sweepstakes race was way more than a 3 degree difference as was postulated somewhere on this thread. I was at my friend's house 1.5 miles from mt. sac at 3pm. His outside thermometer read 93F , which is exactly what my car read as I drove over to the course at that same time. In less than 1 hour it didn't drop that much in temps for that first sweepstakes race. It was hot. Just look at the team times between last year and this year's D4 Sweeps and you'll see this year's was way, way slower.

    Back in the day, I personally ran my fastest time at Mt. Sac when it was hot, about 81F, but at the time I lived in a hot place so I was pretty acclimated. Would I have run faster if it was 61F? Heck ya.

    Saturday's first Sweeps race went from about 71F to 75F between the start and finish. When that sun popped out from behind the clouds, it made a difference. Austin Tamagno lives only 10 miles away from Mt. Sac so I'm guessing he's pretty used to what the area throws at him. But, I'm sure if it was 55F he would have run a bit faster still.

    Everybody has different genetic propensities for heat dispensation. Some are terrible, even when extremely fit, and some are superior simply by their natural physiology.

  7. #17
    I used to live in Running Springs and remember coming down to race the flatlanders and just melting at the beginning of the season. The altitude was a huge advantage, as I was a big responder, but the extra 20 degrees was always a shock to the system. Maybe I still remember this and am hypersensitive to the heat in ways most of you are not. Caleb ran very well Saturday. It was nice to see him bounce back after a few races where he seemed to be missing a step. Austin mentioned it felt hot to him suddenly Saturday morning midway through the race coming down off of Poopout. He said the backside of the course felt significantly warmer.

    The other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that the kids who raced the sweepstakes Friday were likely sitting around in the heat the previous 3-4 hours while their teammates raced.

    I hope the temps are cool at State. If they aren't, we should be able to see how much weather makes a difference.

  8. #18
    for the record--and i think my earlier posts are evidence--i never said temperature didn't matter; i just think it matters less for many elite athletes, which means i think they also have a bigger window of "optimal temperatures." joe, i don't have any data to support how big this window is for your athletes, but i'd speculate for me in a 5k, i'd widen that window to 40-ish to 90-low degrees. i could be wrong, but the bottom line for me is that while temperature can absolutely make a difference, quantifying that difference is at best problematic, and at worst, fruitless and potentially misleading.

    so, as far as conversions, as yesstiles put it better than me: too many other variables at the end of the day. i'd bet the first thing daniels would tell you about his heat index is that it is an average, which, more often than not, is an amalgamation of moving targets. we could look at the the average time on the course for all the athletes and not necessarily find one athlete with exactly that average time.

    let's take brea's austin shellito for example--and for those who don't know, i'm friends with joe so any ribbing is taken with the appropriate good humor on both sides. shellito ran 15:13 friday for the win. maybe if you wanted to build his confidence you could argue that his time is worth a sub-15 on saturday, even a 14:49 if you wanted to use daniels' index (if it's 8-9 seconds/mile--i haven't looked). that would put him well ahead of george gleason from huntington beach (15:04 in saturday's individual sweeps), who beat shellito the previous week by about 15 seconds at oc champs in the same race. is it possible, though, that shellito benefitted from being in front of a race instead of fighting for top 15, both physically (managing dust and running in a crowd) and psychologically (winning is a great motivator)? is it possible the shellito benefitted from running later in the day vs. running in the morning (there is research that shows optimal time for performance is NOT in the morning, but later in the day because of fluctuating body temperatures--should we have a "time of day index?")? do these mitigate the effects of the warmer temperatures? who knows? and who cares? 15:15 is fast, he got a win; let's move on to the next race would be my philosophy (though i doubt that jeremy or joe or austin for that matter need my input here)...

    my experience, both as a coach, and personally (i ran an 8k in fullerton at 5:15pm on friday and would NOT say that the heat impacted me--or did it? maybe it really was equal to a 24:5? instead of the 25:29 i ran...), is that most--not all--of your better athletes are affected more by other factors than temperatures (course conditions, competitive conditions, etc.)--think of german fernandez. did he have ideal conditions for his double at state? while i think common sense would say he could have run a faster 3200 without a 4 flat a couple of hours earlier, can we be absolutely certain of it? some days, you're just on, and i could make an argument, at least from experience's sake, that the 4 flat may have indeed helped him for the 3200! not to put too fine a point on it, but i'd be served just as well trying to convert my times set during "optimal conditions" to what they'd be in less than optimal conditions as the other way around. just my opinion(s) AND argument(s)--enjoying the discussion--and, i never even knew daniels had a heat index until this thread, so i've learned something new...

    p.s. @joe--i was mistakenly looking at the 10 fastest athletes, not the 10 fastest times, so the top 9 fastest athletes ran their prs in july and august. which means el g's september mark is probably worth a sub-3:26 by my reckoning if he'd run in the optimal months of july and august

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cush View Post
    15:15 is fast, he got a win; let's move on to the next race...
    Exactly!
    Bruce Stone
    Assistant Distance Coach
    University City High School

  10. #20
    Thanks Cush, great response. I would say for Shellito the psychological motivation of being in the front is worth more than 10 degrees cooler temps would have been. Pain doesn't matter as much when you're winning.

    Cush, you seem to feel good in 40-90F weather. I feel good in about 25-65F weather (assuming no significant extra wind chill). I imagine most kids that are fit fall into your camp. The kids from Big Bear are probably some of the only ones that respond to weather like me. I'll keep that in mind next time.

    I figured you were looking at all-time performers, so I had to sneak that through the loophole. Off-topic fact: El G broke 3:30.00 thirty-three times. All others combined have broken 3:30.00 fifty-eight times.

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