Thursday, March 13, 2008

Haile Gebrselassie pulls out of Beijing marathon

Haile Gerbrselassie considered to be one of the greatest distance runners of all time pulls out of the Beijing Olympic marathon due to pollution in the city. After reading and seeing this video regarding his choice to do so I began thinking about how smog here in Southern California is affecting my health and my running. By no means do I claim to be an elite athlete, but I do value my health and I do take my training seriously.
Well what I did was compare my average pace and heart rate over the last 3 weeks. What I found was that during morning runs and 2 beach runs compared to my lunch hour runs their was a significant difference in the two values. In the morning runs of the same distance compared to the afternoon runs of the same distance (different days) my average heart rate was 12 bpm less and my average pace was up 30 seconds less per mile. I also noted less perceived exertion. Yes this was a very small and short experiment and I did not address many variables such as mood, temperature, fatigue, course,etc... But studies of a air quality state that morning hours are best for runs due to lower smog levels, and that beach air is often less polluted due to the ocean breeze blowing the smog inland (where I live).
So I say Kudos to Gebrselassie "Health is Wealth" without it what do we have. He has made a great choice that will send incredible shock waves.

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