Continuous thermoregulatory responses to mass-participation distance running in heat

Christopher Byrne, J. K W Lee, S. A N Chew, Chin Leong Lim, E. Y M Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To continuously measure core temperature (Tc) and heart rate (HR), and quantify fluid balance during a 21-km mass-participation road race in warm, humid environmental conditions. Methods: Eighteen heat-acclimatized male soldiers ingested a telemetric Tc sensor on the evening prior to the race and wore an ambulatory Tc data recorder and HR monitor during the race. Pre- to postrace changes in nude body mass quantified fluid balance. Results: Environmental wet bulb globe temperature averaged 26.5°C. All runners finished the race asymptomatic of heat illness in a mean ± SD (range) time of 118 ± 13 (105-146) min. corresponding to an average running speed of 10.8 ± 1.1 (8.6-12.0) km·h-1. All runners recorded peak Tc > 39°C; 56% (N = 10) > 40°C; and 11% (N = 2) > 41°C. Peak Tc was 40.1 ± 0.7 (39.3-41.7) °C at 86 ± 36 (13-130) min, with Tc 39.9 ± 0.8 (38.3-41.7) °C at race finish. The magnitude of Tc response was unrelated (P > 0.05) to running time or fluid balance (e.g., fluid intake, % dehydration). Cumulative heat strain index was 2790 ± 1112 (1046-5144) units at race finish. Conclusion: Ingestible telemetric temperature sensors demonstrated utility for continuous measurement of T c during mass-participation running. Successful application of this technology has highlighted the magnitude and duration of Tc elevation that runners will voluntarily achieve during mass-participation distance races in heat and high humidity without medical consequence. Copyright © 2006 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Core temperature
  • Cumulative heat strain index
  • Fluid balance
  • Heat illness
  • Hyperthermia


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