RAIN COOLS RUNNERS

Kitagawa, K. (2006). The effects of wind and rain on thermoregulation of running human. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2060.

This study investigated the characteristics of thermoregulation and physiological responses during exercise in an artificial environment of controlled wind and rain. Healthy males (N = 7) performed treadmill running at 70%VO2max for 30 minutes under the three environmental conditions (wind only, both wind and rain, and control) in a climate chamber. Wind velocity corresponded to running velocity in the open air and the precipitation was 40 mm/h. S wore running pants and shoes. Temperature was ~27.0C and relative humidity was ~60.0% in the chamber, except in the rain trial (100% RH). Rectal temperature, skin temperatures, O2 consumption, minute ventilation, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion were measured throughout each trial.

In the wind and rain condition, skin temperatures rapidly decreased at the beginning of running. After bottoming out, the skin temperature increased gradually and reached a steady temperature. The steady skin temperature reached in the wind and rain trial was significantly lower than in the other trial conditions. Rectal temperature was consistent across all trials. Skin temperature was lower in the wind condition than in the control condition throughout the trial.

Implication. Rain has a hypothermic effect on runners even in moderate temperatures.

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