Does daylight saving time affect marathon runners?
College students run alongside the race course in the course of the Jingle Bell 5K Run on the UGA Golf Course. Credit score: Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA

Marathon runners hoping to enhance their working occasions might have to keep away from taking part in races that happen on one explicit spring day annually.

A brand new College of Georgia analysis paper co-authored by Patrick O’Connor, professor within the Mary Frances Early Faculty of Training’s Division of Kinesiology, particulars the consequences on marathon run when going down on transition days.

The paper, “Marathon run efficiency on daylight financial savings time transition days: outcomes from a pure experiment,” was revealed within the journal Chronobiology Worldwide in September 2021. O’Connor co-authored the paper with Mihaela Kancheva, a university alumna and present medical scholar on the College of Central Florida.

“As a result of shifting clocks by even one hour within the spring and fall briefly disrupts sleep and , we puzzled if human efficiency additionally could be disrupted,” O’Connor mentioned.

O’Connor and Kancheva obtained common run occasions for all finishers in marathon runs on the spring and fall daylight saving time transition days from a database for the years 2000-2018. Additionally they in contrast runs on the identical marathon programs after they weren’t held on a daylight saving time transition day.

Different knowledge collected consists of temperatures on race days and the latitude, longitude and altitude of every metropolis the place the races occurred. O’Connor and Kancheva checked out 18 marathons and management races that occurred within the spring, in comparison with 29 marathons and management races that occurred within the fall. Places for marathons ranged from main cities like Los Angeles, New York Metropolis and Washington, D.C., to smaller races in cities like Frankenstein, Missouri, and Van Wert, Ohio.

After adjusting for the variety of in every race, they discovered that common working time was worse by about 12 minutes on the spring daylight saving time day. In distinction, there was no worsening of efficiency for the marathons held on the autumn daylight saving time transition day.

O’Connor mentioned there may be not a conclusive reply to clarify the discrepancy in runner efficiency seen within the spring however not within the fall.

“Nevertheless, I speculate that slowed run time within the spring is both resulting from loss or the shift within the timing of the race in relation to the runners’ inner organic clock—our our bodies work greatest when our physique clock is in synchrony with the environmental time, and on shift days this timing is disrupted for a day or so,” he mentioned.

He mentioned the affect of those variables might put the spring marathon runners in a worse temper or make the run be perceived as extra effortful than regular.

“Marathon administrators typically try to create pleasurable, quick programs comparable to by minimizing hills and avoiding dates prone to have sizzling, humid climate,” O’Connor mentioned.

“Now, these administrators—and marathon runners who search to set private document occasions—might wish to keep away from a marathon race on a spring daylight saving time day.”


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Extra data:
Patrick J. O’Connor et al, Marathon run efficiency on daylight financial savings time transition days: outcomes from a pure experiment, Chronobiology Worldwide (2021). DOI: 10.1080/07420528.2021.1974471

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