The effect of very cold air on running pace

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Jan 2015
1:38pm, 30 Jan 2015
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tonyp2604
I went out for a run of about 7.6 miles last night. It was really cold - about freezing point. I found the first 5 miles quite hard (the last two or so not so bad) and my breathing was quite laboured like I couldn't get enough air in. My chest felt a bit sore afterwards - I don't have a cold or any infections at the moment. Does anyone know about the effect of breathing in very cold air and how this might affect lung function and therefore pace (my overall pace for the run was 8:22).
Jan 2015
5:26pm, 31 Jan 2015
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tonyp2604
Bump!
Jan 2015
5:28pm, 31 Jan 2015
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Footpad
I have asthma and have a very similar feeling. It is one of my triggers for asthma. However once warmed up after a few miles my lungs are fine! Not sure if this is the same for those with 'tougher' lungs :-)
Jan 2015
5:28pm, 31 Jan 2015
5,858 posts
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Footpad
I have asthma and have a very similar feeling. It is one of my triggers for asthma. However once warmed up after a few miles my lungs are fine! Not sure if this is the same for those with 'tougher' lungs :-)
Jan 2015
5:41pm, 31 Jan 2015
1,257 posts
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Canute
Running when it is cold is more stressful. Cold air promotes increased release of adrenaline causing increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

Cold air also causes constriction of the airways and can lead to overt bronchospasm is those prone asthma. Testing reveals that many athletes have unrecognised sub-clinical asthma. One early sign is coughng after running in cold weather.

I have mild asthma, and have found that my peak airways flow reduced to about its usual value after running during the past week of near feezing temperatures.
Jan 2015
5:47pm, 31 Jan 2015
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Lady Sol
I'm fine if I take my inhaler before hand, otherwise I need it during the run when it's this cold. In the summer as rarely need to take it at all.
Jan 2015
6:05pm, 31 Jan 2015
18,095 posts
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Red Squirrel
When I was younger, running in the cold made my throat ache a bit and others complained of it too. I don't get that now at all. I'm not sure if it's a kid/teenager/20s thing ... ?
Feb 2015
12:55pm, 1 Feb 2015
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tonyp2604
Thanks for the feedback on this. I did have an asthmatic episode about 17 years ago (it put me in hospital) and was on inhalers for less than 12 months but not since. I used to have quite bad hayfever as a kid but not asthma. I think that what you said Canute might be what's going on but at a subtle level in my case. I have also been out running when there has been a stubborn high pressure system reducing the air quality and noticed a similar effect. Will look into this - thanks again for your feedback people.
Feb 2015
2:00pm, 1 Feb 2015
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Fitz
Interesting comment, Canute. I have a bit of a cough and feel a bit tight of breathing after a chilly 10k race this morning.

A couple of beers by the fire in the pub will hopefully sort it.

If not, I'm off to Dr Google to self-diagnose Shadders on me Lungs.

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Maintained by tonyp2604
I went out for a run of about 7.6 miles last night. It was really cold - about freezing point. I fou...

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