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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

1 Post tagged with the morning tag

Last weekend at the Nordic Ski Camp, one of the coaches talked about monitoring morning body temperature and making decisions about taking an easy day of training based on that body temperature reading.


That discussion peaked my interest.


I went onto PubMed and searched around for information about morning body temperature and athletic performance. In short, nothing.


The ski coach said that it is best to take six weeks worth of data so you can see what’s going on with your morning temperature and heart rate. He also suggested to look at heart rate again, after you’ve been up milling around for about 10 minutes or so.


Curious about all of this, I went to the local pharmacy and purchased a thermometer that is accurate to +/- 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit.I'm taking temperature and heart rate immediately upon waking. I take both again (about half the time) after I've been awake for 10-20 minutes. I take them both while seated.


After less than a week of oral temperature monitoring, here’s what I’ve seen so far:

  • My temperature runs low. I knew this, but I didn’t recall how low. With few data points, it looks like 96.8 is the average.
  • The variation so far is from 96.2 to 97.4.
  • After about 20 minutes in a hot tub, it raises to 99.2.


Some things I’m curious about (that I can’t find any published information on) include:

  • I tend to race well in hot conditions. Is this because I have a lower body temperature?
  • Do all people with lower body temps race well in heat?
  • Heat stroke is normally considered a body temperature of 105 degrees. Since I am lower than the normal 98.6 by near two degrees, does this mean I have more “natural” capacity to race in the heat? Or does it mean that I’m in trouble at 103.2 degrees rather than 105?
  • Do people with natural body temperatures over 98.6 seem to have more problems racing in the heat, compared to their friends?


If you’re interested in this unscientific experiment, please join me. Post your observations here on this blog in the comment section. Do know that there are specific instructions for taking oral temperatures (don’t drink or eat for at least 15 minutes before taking a reading) so read the instructions on your instrument.


I’ll share more items I’ve found out about body temps as we go along. For example, rectal temperatures are more accurate, but thanks, I’ll pass on that measurement technique for now.


Does your engine run hot or cold?

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