I've read a number of things out there about marathon training in hot and humid conditions, about how the heart rate is higher to cool the body, about how humidity slows the process of sweat evaporation from the skin etc. The general conclusion seems to be that either distance should be reduced, or times should be increased. And there are rough guides out there to how much time should be increased.
I'd be tempted to go for an increase in time rather than a reduction in distance, because I don't want to lose distance training for the full marathon.
My question is how hot and humid weather across a whole marathon training cycle affects training for that marathon, rather than one or two "hot and humid days" (I'm not doing my training in the UK as you might have guessed), which is what most of the stuff I've read seems to budget for.
In other words, if I adopt a whole training cycle which has increased times on all runs to allow for heat and humidity, does this mean that I am likely to run a slower marathon than if I had trained for my normal marathon pace in normal weather conditions? Or should I be just as well prepared as if my training had all been in normal conditions? Although my whole training cycle is in hot and humid conditions, the race itself (Tokyo 2015) will be in winter and it'll be cold.
I'm in this one too, quite a surprise to be successful in the ballot! (Jonah8 - nice to see you again after Berlin '12 thread).
I'm based in Hong Kong now and the prices to Japan were insane as this lands right on Chinese New Year. But I bit the bullet and went with it as this one is not easy to get into. Fitness not what it was a couple of years ago and dragging round a long-standing gluteus medius injury now.
By the way, I ran the Kyoto Marathon earlier this year and it was fantastic, for anyone thinking of an alternative. Should also be much cheaper than Tokyo. They are changing the route this year to cut out the killer hill up to the exhibition centre, and extending the course into a couple of nearby streets and the botanical gardens to make up for it. The course was beautiful and there were very few foreign runners, but we were made to feel very welcome. Dank art - have you been to Kyoto? If you love everything Japanese, Kyoto will blow you away. Tokyo is interesting but not a patch on Kyoto!
Best sushi for price-to-quality ratio in the world is in Hong Kong, so I'll be giving this a miss in Nippon
Now the headache is getting a visa sorted for my wife. She's a Ukrainian citizen and the immigration rules are ridiculous for former CIS country passport holders. A letter of invitation and guarantee required, the cheapest option I can find for this so far is £180. Adds on to what is already a very expensive trip. Kyoto organisers provided these free of charge but Tokyo organisers are refusing to help.
Well done, that's a great time! Especially on such a hilly course. You're right, the weather was perfect. The volunteers at the start looked a bit confused as I handed them a second hand long jacket before crossing the start line.
I finished in 4:34. My slowest marathon by over half an hour, but honestly, I was so pleased my injury held together. It hurt a lot on any inclines after 30km, but it's not that sore post-race. Was aiming just for a finish this time and I reckon I enjoyed it more than my previous two when I was obsessed with the clock. I did walk a couple of KMs late on as my training suffered a lot with the injury - hadn't run for 5 weeks before the marathon, and only got up to 16 miles in my long runs. Really fun course; you are right, that hill going into the tunnel was hellish. Amazing scenery though especially early on beside the river.
Will update my blog with full thoughts shortly after getting back, we leave Kyoto tomorrow. What a wonderful city - well done again! Do keep in touch via the blog.