Thursday, May 3, 2012

Motivation Decreases in the Heat

The start of summer in Arizona also means the onset of slower paces.  Running in the heat is challenging and as you get hotter, you will slow down and lose motivation to run.  The Science of Sport has a series on fatigue and exercising in the heat. The post discusses that  body has an off switch when it reaches a certain temperature.  Depending on the animal, the temperature changes.  For antelopes the temperature is 107.6  °F  (42  °C ), goats 109.4 °F  (43 °C ) and humans is 104 °F  (40 °C ).  At 104 the off switch turns on and you'll have to stop.  There is no pushing through. Hopefully you don't hit this body temperature where you shut down.  And naturally higher body temperatures than 104°F have serious health risks.

A study with cyclists showed that brain activity was lower at 104°F vs 100.4 (38°C) and motivation decreased as the body temperature rose.  Often I think while running in the heat that I just need to suck it up and get moving. I now understand there is science behind my decreased performance.
Gabrielle Andersen, staggering and swaying through the Olympic stadium in Los Angeles, typifying the human response observed in the research subjects at the point of exhaustion during exercise in the heat - paralysis on one side of the body, confusion, loss of co-ordination and balance. -The Science of Sport

1 comment:

Christy said...

Interesting. I have read a little on the subject, and i kmow my performance really drops in the heat, but it still gets me frustrated in the moment.