A Review on Chiangmai Marathon 2018 (Part 2) – Impact of Humidity on Performance Posted on January 2, 2019

By Rameshon

Picture 1 – Humidity is a factor affecting performance, even in Sundown Marathon, humidity will be a problem. 

I have decided to do in separate parts on ‘A Review on Chiangmai Marathon.’ How many parts will I do, altogether? It all depends on how much I can cover on all angles of the race.

At the onset of the race, one of the most interesting topic for me to talk, to all ardent runners, is on humidity. It is of course cooling to run at 1am, and one must know that the humidity peaks at night, and it is not a good sign. If humidity peaks at this time, it simply means that one will not be able to do a personal best time as the humid climate will not allow easy drying up of sweat that forms on the body. It also makes one not to enjoy running due to discomfort of running with a lot of sweat forming on the body. During the first 3km of the race, I saw sweat forming on my shorts and it was all wet, although the weather was ranging between 18 and 22 degrees centigrade.

I usually ask people on the topic on weather and humidity, between the heat and humidity, which one will hit a person hard. Some have told me that if the weather is hot, it affects performance of one more. The answer to this is actually the humidity level. Hence, it is not a good thing to run at an environment where the humidity is very high. Therefore, it is good to know the time of the day where the humidity level is lower as compared to 1am.

In Singapore also, for Sundown Marathon, it is advisable for one to hydrate a lot of water as the humidity will peak at about mid-night or at 1am. Hence, one is made to drink more than the required amount of water or isotonic. It is good to know that it was very hard to see isotonic points during this marathon. The good thing for the organisers to do is to put diluted isotonic at nearly all parts of the water points of the race.

So, although, the night running is much cooler to run, which is a plus point as our core temperature will be a bit lower because of this, the humidity level plays an important role in high performance, as it is hard to do well in high humidity level. I think the organisers could also ask or invite good runners to write in and email, and they should provide a table for those top runners to place the isotonic water bottles on the special drink table, 10 to 20 metres away from the every end of a drink points for the public who are running.

The humidity of the race can affect the runners’ time and one can see that the timing of the top runners will not be fantastic. The reason for me to write this is to prepare oneself properly for the race, in terms of changing the sleep pattern, learning to drink from the water bottle for 50 to 100m etc. These factors will actually help an athlete to do a reasonable time, instead, and to be happy about the run.

During the race, the good thing that I experienced was that the coolness of the race. It did keep me happy as there was some kind of comfort coming from coolness of the air that we were getting from as compared to the humidity level that we had to face.

In short, organisers must double up on providing on isotonic drinks in order to avoid many from getting cramps. In the race, Mariviv and I saw many runners slowing down and they were attending to cramps.

Edited By Tan Mariviv!