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uncle milkman
How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/19/2005 4:49PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
say you run a 10k (or any race for that matter) in 0-10 degree wind chill. how much will this affect your time? assume that you'll be wearing tights, gloves, a hat, long sleeved shirts, etc. what about for normal training runs?

I am aware that this is not a very important running question. I'm just curious.
ttc
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/19/2005 5:17PM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That's tough. I've run in 0-degree type weather many times. But the coldest race I've ever been in was 25F...and hailing. But I'll take a stab....

For an even or negative pacer, the difference will be minimal. But if you like to get out fast for your ability, then the freezing temperatures and extra breathing will handcuff your lungs, then hit your legs to the tune of up to 5 seconds/mile.
superscience
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/19/2005 5:20PM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
How much does cold weathe affect performance? The answer is precisely 14.3343 megawonkers.
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/19/2005 6:02PM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A lot. OK? Come on April.
Mad Scientist
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/19/2005 6:03PM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
where there seems to be endless amounts of research that has been done on the effect of heat and endurance performance, there has been far less research done on the effect of low environmental temperature on endurance. This is mainly due to the phenomena known as behavioral thermoregulation. Behavioral thermoregulation refers to the things that people do voluntarily to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Physiologically are bodies are more concerned with preventing overheating; whereas behaviorally we are more efficient at keeping ourselves warm since we can always just add more layers if needed. Basically what I am saying is that there really isn't any percise answer (that has yet to been found) as to how much slower you will run in extremely cold weather vs. more neutral conditions. There are a lot of factors to consider, but the bottom line is that in extremely cold weather, just as in extremely hot conditions, you will have to work harder/ use more energy to maintain a certain level of performace. This will most likely equal out to slower times - but then again this will vary from person to person.
Derderian
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/20/2005 6:50AM - in reply to Mad Scientist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
We can do science on this and calculate your change in vo2 max and sub max by accounting for the additional weight of clothing. The oxygen use is divided into kilograms of body weight so if you weigh more you have to use oxygen to move it. So weigh your extra clothing and use that to change your max calculation. You can add a few % to your body weight with clothing so it can be figured and counts.

What is harder to figure is how much to wear or not as the need for it changes during the run. Wind chill can change tremendously on a loop. So you can be overheated or freezing at times but on average be perfect.
Tom, 24F outside now near Boston
Dr. Smith
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/20/2005 7:43AM - in reply to Mad Scientist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The reason there is little research on this is because good scientists are too smart to stand out in the cold for long enough to measure the physiological changes and resistance of extra clothing, etc., in an endurance event. But have no fear: I'm going to invent a nickle-plated ninny robot to do it for me. I ought to have results published within eight to 10 years (Earth years, that is).
LI Runner
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/20/2005 8:07AM - in reply to Dr. Smith Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Actually, there are enough crazies out there to perform research in the cold. I can't recall where exactly, but one of the outdoor magazines, had an article about a professor that did extensive research on how the body reacts to cold water and frigid temps. He would perform the experiments with he being the subject. He would plunge himself into frozen bodies of water with his grad assistants monitoring his vitals.

As you can imagine various armed services have a keen interest in his research.


Dr. Smith wrote:

The reason there is little research on this is because good scientists are too smart to stand out in the cold for long enough to measure the physiological changes and resistance of extra clothing, etc., in an endurance event. But have no fear: I'm going to invent a nickle-plated ninny robot to do it for me. I ought to have results published within eight to 10 years (Earth years, that is).
Asstacular
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/20/2005 8:23AM - in reply to Derderian Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Dumb question: how does oxygen uptake change with ambient air temperature? Is air fully heated when it gets into the lungs? If not, does this affect oxygen absorption?
ttc
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/20/2005 8:29AM - in reply to Asstacular Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Asstacular wrote:

Dumb question: how does oxygen uptake change with ambient air temperature? Is air fully heated when it gets into the lungs? If not, does this affect oxygen absorption?

I suggested cold air would effect VO2. I can't explain it, but freezing cold air sure seems difficult on the lungs.
dukerdog
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 3:05AM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Snatch
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 3:28AM - in reply to uncle milkman Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Anyone consider that air being a gas it becomes denser in colder weather.Therefore by volume it should carry more oxygen molecules. Does that make sense?
Derderian
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 12:03PM - in reply to Snatch Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yes, there is more oxygen in cold air but not much in a lung ful. One could look that up and equate it to an altitude change. That would be interesting. The only thing I know can be measured is the extra weight of clothing that you wear to protect yourself. I know of no penalty for breathing cold air. I suppose one could put a runner on a treadmill and look to see if there is a change in oxygen uptake or speed when a runner in warm air breathes cold air. Winter wind is a problem. Jack Daniels did work on the penalties for wind. It takes away a lot more than it gives.

Last winter I tried to run a specific hill workout when the wind chill was -30F. I could dress warmly enough so my ears and hands did not freeze and I was not uncomfortable but I could only layer my legs so much. As hard as I tried I could not get tired running the workout. My times were slow. Afterwards I was not tired. The next day the temp warmed up to 16F and the wind quit. Then I run much faster and got tired. I think my leg muscles could not get warm enough to work hard in the extreme wind chill.
Tom
Orville Atkins
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 12:36PM - in reply to Derderian Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I always found that cold weaather affected my performance negatively at least as much as heat. I had severe heat stress problems after three marathons but placed reasonably well.
After I moved to California in 1964, I found that I had to take precautions when I went east for the Boston race on cold days. I tighten up if it gets below the low 50s. This affects my training and racing. For Boston, on cold days, I coated my legs in linament and then added a layer of cocoa butter. I also wore ear muffs, a long sleeve shirt and gloves or socks on my hands but I found it very difficult to reverse tight muscles and run reasonably well when it was cold.
Dr. Smith
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 2:37PM - in reply to Snatch Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Snatch wrote:

Anyone consider that air being a gas it becomes denser in colder weather.


But it also then expands when warmed in the lungs, causing some very serious side effects. This is why my early studies on rats were inconclusive. They were also quite messy. Rats ran on a wheel as I steadily lowered the ambient temperature. Respiration rate and volume increased, and just when it appeared we were getting some results, "Bang!" Rats with exploded lungs, you never saw such a mess.
Boy Wonder
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 3:27PM - in reply to Dr. Smith Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Ed Eyestone in RW this month says upwards of 25% more effort. Not sure I buy that, but I have always noticed I run much faster in the summer and early fall before I put on tights, it gets dark and cold.
jealous snitches
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 6:07PM - in reply to Boy Wonder Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I live in central Ky. and for the most part, the winters are mild. Of late, I have been running in 25-25 degree weather. I am not sure if I am just getting better, but I have much more "easier" runs when it is cool out. It seems as if my breathing and stamina are much more in-tune during late fall and winter as oppose to the summer. In the summer, I automatically suck at least once or twice a week whereas the past month, I really haven't had much poor performance. Is this the theory of your body has to work harder to stay cool in the heat and works less in mild cold. I agree with the concept that in severe cold, it might take its toll. I am far from elite, but no slouch either. Good insight above though.
dukerdog
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 6:34PM - in reply to Derderian Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Derderian wrote:
I know of no penalty for breathing cold air.

http://www.snowbikers.com/articles/cold_air.html

I think they're talking about very cold air though. But doing speedwork when the temps are below 0F is probably not a good idea.
why not
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 7:39PM - in reply to jealous snitches Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I lived in the midwest for a few years and I always ran faster in the winter on my long runs days. I could not tell you how the workouts would have changed because we worked out indoors. I never raced in the winter out doors. I did run a 5k and 10k pr in weather colder then 28.
The real man!!
RE: How much does cold weather affect performance? 12/21/2005 7:40PM - in reply to dukerdog Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Is it possible that there is no penalty at all? Could cold air be an advantage. Say around 10 degrees F, you think it might make you tougher as a runner? But Im no doctor or scientist, but to my experiences I think cold weather could help you.
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