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How Weather Impacts Sprinting Performance

Learn how weather impacts performance from sprinting coach Shane Paul Neil in this Howcast video.


Hi, my name is Shane Paul Neil. I'm here to discuss how weather impacts sprinting. Outside of the typical rain or adverse conditions in which case you would obviously be slower, what you'll tend to find with sprinting in is actually where you are regionally. Here in the East Coast, we have shorter summers and shorter springs, so therefore we get to train outdoors less. In comparison to a sprinter from Florida or Texas or in the West Coast, whose outdoor seasons are fairly long, you'll tend to find that they peak much later in the season, and they tend overall be a little bit faster just because they have more time to train outdoors.

The majority, again, of East Coast seasons will be indoors. So it'll be a lot of 60s, 200 meter runs, 500 meter runs, 400 meter runs. They're more indoors. Overall, just not being able to train outdoors more often will affect your performance as a whole.

What tends to happen a lot of times with early season, especially outdoors, is that the meets will be generally cold. Outdoor temperature for sprinters may be anywhere between 70 to even 90 degrees. I've had some great runs on a track that were over 100 degrees.

Cold weather tends to affect sprinters more, just in terms of muscle tightness and the amount of clothing that you'll wear. Generally speaking, a sprinter will wear a uni-tard or very lightweight clothing, but I've been to meets where guys have actually sprinted in their warm-ups. Overall, it will affect your performance. It will slow you down, just because, again, you're carrying more clothing than you're used to.

Generally, colder days tend to be windy with dryer air, so it's a little harder to breathe. Those are things that you'll run into early season with adverse weather. In terms of just rain or things of that nature, it, again, tends to be more about wind than anything else. The thing to always remember is, if it's affecting you, it's affecting the person next to you, so don't worry about it, just run. That's how weather affects performance.

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