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Why can't I run in the cold?

MuragoMurago Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm a floridian, and I've been running since late july. Just before the cold came around in the past 2 weeks, I was running 5k (3.2 miles) apx. at around 32 mins. I dunno if that's good or bad, but anyway. I can BARELY make a mile now without my body just stopping. It's usually mind over matter for me, but I really can't make my body go any more. I've tried pace setting, focusing on breathing...after a mile I kinda just need to walk.

Here are the factors i've thought of:

Layers of warm clothing including shorts, sweatpants, shirt, sweater, jogging sweater, ski cap.

Cold air seems fine at first, and then it's feels as though I can't breathe in deep enough.

Sweat not cooling me down b/c of long clothing.

I don't know if this is normal, b/c I have not run in the cold before. Any advice would be really appreciated, b/c its really pissing me off.

Gracias.

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Murago on

Posts

  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    It takes more energy to run in the cold because your body is using energy to warm itself. You can help some by layering correctly (wicking layer->middle warmth layer->shell) and loosing the sweatpants and wearing tights. If your jacket and pants are baggy at all it can add a lot of wind resistance that is not present in the summer.

    You'll get used to it, don't worry. It can just be a shock for the first week or so, especially when it suddenly gets cold.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've been running in the dark cold night lately and I find it helps to sprint or do some intervals first to warm up. Though to be honest, I still don't feel really warm and limber until mile 3 or 4 unless i'm very bundled.

    kaliyama on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Your body needs to get used to it. When I ran high school track in CT, our warm up for the winter months involved shoveling while we ran.

    Improvolone on
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  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    It takes more energy to run in the cold because your body is using energy to warm itself. You can help some by layering correctly (wicking layer->middle warmth layer->shell) and loosing the sweatpants and wearing tights. If your jacket and pants are baggy at all it can add a lot of wind resistance that is not present in the summer.

    You'll get used to it, don't worry. It can just be a shock for the first week or so, especially when it suddenly gets cold.

    I wear similar when running in cold. Wicking interior, hoodie or similar on top. Ski cap. Sweatpants bad. Windbreaker or similar lightweight longsleeve pants on the bottom half. If it's ass cold, do something like stockings. took me a bit to find something similar that would be comfortable to run in for an hour.

    Then it's just a matter of a proper warmup. 5 minutes or so, even if it's a light jog before the real running. I'll never understand people in awesome shape who refuse to warm up then talk about how sore/tired they are.

    Octoparrot on
  • MuragoMurago Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Ok, this is helping.

    I do a brisk walk for 5 minutes everyday before running. I'm not familiar with wicking interior...and I didn't know that sweatpants were a no no. I've never tried tights (at least, i haven't worn them since i was 10)...so I have to see if i can find a pair. I didn't know they sold them for men. Is that Underarmor stuff kind of what you're talking about?

    Murago on
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  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Underarmor or similar branded tops are what people are talking about, yes. They have a few different types. But the double layered ones I've not felt the need to buy, personally. Even for winter in FL.

    I'd consider the super wicking $100+ compression stockings for rich folks. Don't wear long johns. If you have $10 to waste, and you still can't seem to keep legs warm after ditching the sweatpants, try the hose idea.

    Octoparrot on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I didn't want to be the douchebag who suggests the $100 CW-X compression tights, but i'm happy to be the douchebag who seconds them. My friend got two pairs, and I laughed at her for wearing them. On Monday's run, I was freezing and she was happy as a clam wearing them.

    kaliyama on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Wicking layers don't need to be expensive, you can probably find no-name cool-max long sleeves for around $25 each. They don't need to be skin-tight either. But wearing cotton as your first layer in the winter is just death. You'll sweat, and then the sweat will freeze.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I didn't want to be the douchebag who suggests the $100 CW-X compression tights, but i'm happy to be the douchebag who seconds them. My friend got two pairs, and I laughed at her for wearing them. On Monday's run, I was freezing and she was happy as a clam wearing them.

    Oh yeah, not to imply that I can afford them. I mean, my running shoes are basically cloth scraps, rubber soles, and industrial staples. But those tights most definitely work.

    Octoparrot on
  • Golden LegGolden Leg Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    You don't have to drop $100 on a pair of pants. I bought a new pair of "running tights" for around $40 and they kept me running straight through a a Minnesota winter. Of course, you're reading from a man who doesn't even think about anything but shorts until it's 20.

    Golden Leg on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Octoparrot wrote: »
    kaliyama wrote: »
    I didn't want to be the douchebag who suggests the $100 CW-X compression tights, but i'm happy to be the douchebag who seconds them. My friend got two pairs, and I laughed at her for wearing them. On Monday's run, I was freezing and she was happy as a clam wearing them.

    Oh yeah, not to imply that I can afford them. I mean, my running shoes are basically cloth scraps, rubber soles, and industrial staples. But those tights most definitely work.

    They also help keep your joints and muscles in proper alignment, which is good in the cold because you run a higher risk of injury then.

    kaliyama on
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  • xa52xa52 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I don't think you need $100 compression tights if you're running < 5mi. I've gotten by fine at similar distances at 20F with synthetic long underwear and an over layer- fleece on top, fleece sweatpants or nylon pants on the bottom. I don't think anything is wrong with sweatpants, as long as they're not made of cotton. You might not even need the long underwear in FL. Just make sure that your inner layer is not cotton.

    If your biggest problem is that you're finding it hard to breathe in as deeply, then it sounds like you need to acclimate to the colder air. Walk a bit to catch your breath if you have to- just not so long that you start to cool off, and as you adjust you won't have to walk as much.

    xa52 on
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  • takyristakyris Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    For how long after you exercise do you have trouble catching your breath?

    I could do an inside workout just fine, but was wheezing for hours after an outside workout. Turned out to be a variant of asthma in which the cold weather caused, to be scientific about it, shit to constrict. Apparently I'm turning into the guy who suggests that everything is asthma because that's what it was for him.

    Even if it's not asthma, you are going to have to adjust to breathing in cold air. It's harder on your body. Just is. The good news is that you'll then be like Superman when the warm weather comes back.

    takyris on
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