Thermoregulatory responses during competitive marathon running

M B Maron, J A Wagner, S M Horvath
Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology 1977, 42 (6): 909-14
To assess thermoregulatory responses occuring under actual marathon racing conditions, rectal (Tre) and five skin temperatures were measured in two runners approximately every 9 min of a competitive marathon run under cool conditions. Race times and total water losses were: runner 1 = 162.7 min, 3.02 kg; runner 2 = 164.6 min, 2.43 kg. Mean skin temperature was similar throughout the race in the two runners, although they exhibited a marked disparity in temperature at individual skin sites. Tre plateaued after 35--45 min (runner 1 = 40.0--40.1, runner 2 = 38.9--39.2 degrees C). While runner 2 maintained a relatively constant level for the remainder of the race, runner 1 exhibited a secondary increase in Tre. Between 113 and 119 min there was a precipitous rise in Tre from 40.9 to 41.9 degrees C. Partitional calorimetric calculations suggested that a decrease in sweating was responsible for this increment. However, runner 1's ability to maintain his high Tre and running pace for the remaining 44 min of the race and exhibit no signs of heat illness indicated thermoregulation was intact.

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