As I struggle through the heat and humidity of another Louisiana summer, I’m reminded of an interesting concept that took my simple mind a while to comprehend.
Smaller runners are often better (more efficient) at radiating body heat than larger runners, for the simple fact they have more skin surface area per mass to radiate body heat.
We larger runners might have more square inches of skin surface compared to smaller runners, but it’s all about our body mass relative to skin surface area.
Our skin surface acts like the surface coils of a car radiator…our system moves heat via the blood stream to the surface of the body, we sweat and transfer some body heat through “evaporation.” Body heat also dissipates as air moves over our skin surface – this is called “convection.”
As we exercise our body temperature rises, blood flow shifts from the core of the body and central organs to the outer muscles and skin. Oxygen is needed for the cooling process and there’s less of it available for vital organs, thus compromising our exercising capacity.
I know this much…I’m ready for the cool breezes October.