ATLANTA — You’ve been training for weeks or even months for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. But come race day, weather can either make for a smooth sprint to the finish line or can be a big hurdle.
That hurdle isn't often rain or storms, but a forecast for high heat and humidity. This is because it impacts your body's ability to keep its core temperature regulated.
When you run, your core body temperature rises. In response, your sweat glands produce droplets that carry excess heat to your skin. In other words, you sweat. That sweat evaporates, which in turn helps to keep your body cool.
But when the humidity rises, this process doesn’t happen as quickly. It takes longer for the sweat to evaporate, and therefore the heat stays put. Your body can’t cool itself as effectively.
This added humidity, especially on a warm Georgia summer morning, can make running more of a challenge.
On race day, there’s an alert system to keep runners aware of these race-affecting weather conditions.
Green means good. Yellow means use caution and be aware of changing conditions. When it turns red, it’s potentially dangerous… sometimes leading to earlier start times in years past. In the most extremes, the race would be cancelled.
The best way to overcome a humid race morning? Hydrate frequently and in advance and don’t over-exert yourself.
Luckily, this year the weather will play in your favor low humidity arriving just in time for the holiday weekend.