Monday, August 8, 2011

Air conditioning in gyms

(Gets on hobby horse).

There must be some kind of standard for air conditioning in gyms but I have yet to find it; so far all I have found is someone else (who also happens to be based in Madrid) asking the same question. Today, I made the mistake of trying to do relatively long series (15 minutes) on the treadmill at work and got completely overheated. It may be that it was just an excuse to stop but it was very unpleasant. How can the gym be full in August? Aren't people supposed to be on holiday? Or maybe that's it, they are on holiday and have decided to come to the gym to work out. It was noticeably cooler to run outside where the sun was beating out a respectable 30 degrees Celsius and so I finished my workout on the running track. That, surely, is an indication that the temperature of the air con is too high.

One day I will take a thermometer along and measure how hot it gets where I am running. It definitely gets distinctly more uncomfortable when other people are running next to me and especially if it is a full house. I've had complaints (not to my face, of course) about the amount that I sweat, in spite of my efforts to clean up afterwards. What can I do? Even if I went naked I'd still be too hot and then there would be even more complaints.

The answer is that the cardiovascular machines, like the spinning bikes, should be in a separate room or divided from the weights section (although I also sweat a lot when doing weights). Either that or people who feel cold should wear jerseys for f's sake. I know it's nice to show off your muscles but there are plenty of warm, skin-tight garments available these days.

Armed with my measurements I'll see if I can find some kind of norm (surely from another country like the United States because I very much doubt that one exists in Spain) that is being contravened. On the other hand, we are talking about the same body that organized a 5K race at 5pm in July a few years ago - this actually did break the rules for the maximum effective ("wet bulb") temperature that it is allowed for a running race - and the first two finishers ended up being hospitalized. It was the only race ever that I didn't manage to finish, almost collapsing only 200 meters from the finish line. There is a higher risk of heatstroke in shorter races because you tend to run much closer to your limit.

(Gets off hobby horse)