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Running in the cold. Why is it harder?

(5 Posts)
Ormirian Mon 29-Nov-10 12:03:04

I ran a 8 miler yesterday. Mostly downhill (cheat!). I was well warmed up as we'd been toboganning and walking in the snow just before my run.

The cold was making me a bit wheezy but I used my inhaler to clear it.

My muscles were really sore while I was running and I seemed to have very little stamina. Is this the cold? DOes this happen to anyone else?

cestlavie Mon 29-Nov-10 12:31:39

Cold generally has a negative impact on running performance.

When your body temperature falls (a) your cardiac output decreases meaning there is less oxygen being pumped around your body; (b) oxygen transfer (e.g. to muscle cells)is less effective; and (c) (I think) you're having to use a proportion of energy to maintain your core body temperature.

All that basically means is that (like for like) any single action requires more effort in the cold than in normal temperatures. I guess, as you warm up it should improve vs. when you first start but over a fixed distance it should be harder and even when you're "warmed up" there is still a proportion of energy being used, for example, to keep your extremeties warm!

If you have asthma, I imagine it's even harder as you're even shorter on oxygen. Also, I suspect you take shorter, harder breaths when it's really cold which probably doesn't help (well, I know I breathe harder in the cold).

That being said, I had an 8 mile run this morning and it was actually absolutely fine, but then, 'tis the south of the country. Did stumble a couple of times though with colder, stiffer feet....

Ormirian Mon 29-Nov-10 12:36:56

Oh I'm in the south too cestlavie grin No excuses there.

But I plead athsma....

It just felt so much harder and until yesterday my fitness levels has seemed to be improving massively.

cestlavie Mon 29-Nov-10 12:50:44

I imagine asthma makes it a lot tougher.

I actually don't mind the cold but struggle when it gets too hot though don't think I'll have to be worry about that just yet! Did a half marathon in September this year when the temperature was in the mid 20s and was incredibly hard work - temperature makes a real difference to your performance.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 29-Nov-10 13:26:30

I have more trouble in the heat than in the coldconfused I had some nightmare runs in the summer. I think I was getting hayfever, I used to get wheezy then.

If the cold is triggering your asthma that defnitely will make it harder. Take it a bit easier maybe, slow your pace down.

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