Jamil’s Biology lesson report for Leeds 10k,
Judging by the amazing crowds at the Jane Tomlinson 10k in Leeds, some of the Tour de France enthusiasm has spilled over into road running. The conditions were warm but as is often the case people confuse the effects of the sun with humidity. At 9.30am the humidity level in Leeds was an incredible 94%.
When humidity is at this level the body cannot transfer heat because the rate at which perspiration evaporates is lower. As blood flows to the surface of the skin, less oxygen is available to the heart and muscles meaning we have to rely on the anaerobic respiration system earlier. This effectively means the build-up of fatigue inducing lactic acid is earlier and the muscles tire. The way to tackle it? Acclimatize. (Some of you will remember Ian Fisher training for the Mumbai Marathon in a boiler suit). Since in the UK we are not acclimatised to running in 94% humidity, race times are likely to be a bit slower. So whilst people were saying it was a hot day, the shade temperature in Leeds was actually 19C. However when you factor in the direct exposure to the sun, you have even hotter conditions increasing the impact of the humidity and further reducing the body’s ability to cool itself. The brain’s natural reaction? Slow down. Sounds like a traditional running excuse but believe me it isn’t.
To put this into perspective, the weekend before the Leeds 10k I ran the Harrogate park run 5k in 16.01 approximately 30 seconds faster than I reached 5k on Sunday. However, the humidity level was 73% which may actually have lowered the perceived temperature slightly. On Sunday at the 5k mark I felt I was working much harder than the week before. The final results left many people scratching their heads why the normally flat Leeds 10k did not produce Abbey Dash style times but humidity plays a key role. Science lesson over children.
In light of the above, everyone ran like champions. One such hero was Richard Smith who was so delirious at the finish that he failed to spot he had a pb. After a few seconds of swearing and coughing by the finish line, his vision returned and then the realisation that he had entered the pantheon of humidity runners. A few minutes earlier a hot and bothered Zack crossed the line. Next in was Robin Outtersides who barely knew which city. Nicky Lee crossed the line and fell into my arms. Charlotte managed to beat her husband Chris. Not a good day to lend someone your wife’s watch I must say. Well done all sorry if I didn’t catch you at the end. I have pencilled in the next training weekend for the Brazilian rainforest.
Otley results 5th Jamil Parapia 33:19, Zack Whitehead 34:33, 27th Robin Outtersides, 41st Richard Smith 37:12, Stephen Boddy 46:52, Chris Batley 47.21, Cadan Hoare 49.08, Nicola Lee 49.23, Charlotte Tomlinson 53.09, Melvin Hoare 53.54, Reid Haddow 53.57, Emma Jones 56.15.
Full results here, there are lots of club details missing so please comment if any members have been missed.