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14-12-2010, 12:32   #1
Bugsy2000
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Cold Weather Running - Hard To Breathe?

Hi lads,

I took part in the Turkey Trot in Carnmore on Sunday morning, and whilst I admit I hadn't been out on the road for a few weeks, I really suffered. I felt like I couldn't get any air into my lungs. I had my inhaler with me (the doc says I have slight 'exercise induced asthma') but even this was no help. I was nearly 10mins behind my projected time & I was nearly caught by some of the walkers on the course.

I just thought it was my asthma playing up but from talking to other runners afterwards a few said the cold air really messed up their breathing and they ran a slower race than expected (and this was before I mentioned my trouble breathing).

Anyone else suffer like this with the cold air? Any other asthma sufferers feel that its worse in cold air? (Hope thats alright Mod - not looking for advice or a cure). The temperature was around the 1 degree for the run, although the sun was out & it was a lovely course.
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14-12-2010, 12:38   #2
donothoponpop
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Hi lads,

I took part in the Turkey Trot in Carnmore on Sunday morning, and whilst I admit I hadn't been out on the road for a few weeks, I really suffered. I felt like I couldn't get any air into my lungs. I had my inhaler with me (the doc says I have slight 'exercise induced asthma') but even this was no help. I was nearly 10mins behind my projected time & I was nearly caught by some of the walkers on the course.

I just thought it was my asthma playing up but from talking to other runners afterwards a few said the cold air really messed up their breathing and they ran a slower race than expected (and this was before I mentioned my trouble breathing).

Anyone else suffer like this with the cold air? Any other asthma sufferers feel that its worse in cold air? (Hope thats alright Mod - not looking for advice or a cure). The temperature was around the 1 degree for the run, although the sun was out & it was a lovely course.
One thing you can do to mitigate the effects of cold air on breathing, is to do a long, slow, warm-up before the event. This will help to open up your airways, and they won't tighten up as much from the sort sharp shock of cold air being gasped in. Having recently been diagnosed with EIA myself, it makes a big difference. Nothing worse than the feeling of not getting enough oxygen, and going backwards in a race you've trained for.
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14-12-2010, 12:47   #3
Bugsy2000
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Thanks for that. I put in a decent warm up on Sunday but I think the eagerness of all the particiapants from the local GAA club who held the race had everyone sprinting off the line. I was 1k down the road before I realised the pace I was going at. It was definietly a shock to the lungs.

I've bought the Powerbreathe device to soften up the lungs & airways before racing & training. Now if i only remember to use it!

Last edited by Bugsy2000; 14-12-2010 at 14:46.
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14-12-2010, 12:56   #4
mathepac
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As above, re the slow gradual warm-up. I encountered problems during a fairly mild bit of exercise last Saturday; it was very cold.

Be very conscious of how you breathe once you find yourself under some degree of pressure. I used to find myself literally 'gasping for air' through my mouth which exacerbated the effects of the cold on the air-ways. I had to train myself to slow down, relax and concentrate on 'in though the nose, out through the mouth'. It's almost counter-intuitive, but works well for me.
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14-12-2010, 13:23   #5
MaroonTam
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I find in the cold weather I tend to breathe quite shallow from my upper lungs (even when short on breath).
When that happens I try to focus on deep breathing through the diaphragm and lower lungs - so longer, deeper breaths than short gasps. Seems to help for me.
BTW I do not suffer EIA, so this might not be relevant to your situation.
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14-12-2010, 19:08   #6
Fluorescence
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Am I the only one who finds cold weather improves my breathing? Makes my lungs and throat feel cleaner and allows me to breathe more freely... That said I'm a trained musician so I've had well-controlled breathing for years.
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14-12-2010, 19:44   #7
anymore
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Seems reasonable to assume that there is some reaction to taking much colder air in to your lungs. I did Clon marathon on saturday and whilst i got a bit of a boost passing through the 13 mile mark in my previous two marathons, in Clon, in the cold, it just felt like a hard cold slog ar the 13 mile mark. Generally it seems like harder work running in the cold. Does the body have to expend more energy keeping warm in low temperatures ?
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14-12-2010, 20:05   #8
TFBubendorfer
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Am I the only one who finds cold weather improves my breathing? Makes my lungs and throat feel cleaner and allows me to breathe more freely... That said I'm a trained musician so I've had well-controlled breathing for years.
No, you're not the only one, I find breathing, and running in general, easier when it's cold.
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18-12-2010, 13:49   #9
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According to pulmonary function tests, I have reasonably serious asthma. However, I'm very fortunate to have very few symptoms apart from a bit of a wheeze in cold weather and an occasional cough.

I echo the comments above about a decent warm-up, and for training runs I find it helps to breathe through my nose only - I think this warms up the air a bit before it hits the lungs - though this isn't practical for a race, especially a short one.
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21-12-2010, 13:38   #10
guapos
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I'm in a similar situation, the two races ive done in the cold have been two or three minutes slower than i would have expected. I've had to do most of my training on a treadmill and i could really feel the difference on saturday. I'd be interested to hear if your times get better when it starts to heat up.
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21-12-2010, 14:01   #11
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I ran the Jingle Bells 5k on saturday and it was freezing cold. I done about 15 minute jog before the race to warm up.
Whilst i didnt have any breathing issues during the race, about 20mins after the race whilst driving home, found it very hard to breath. Very dry and noisy breathing and felt like i was having some sort of asmathic (excuse spelling) attack. Wife was beside me in car and said it looked like it was a result of lots of cold air hitting my lungs during the race.
After bout 20 minutes in the car it disappeared. Guess she was right.
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21-12-2010, 14:25   #12
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Am I the only one who finds cold weather improves my breathing? Makes my lungs and throat feel cleaner and allows me to breathe more freely... That said I'm a trained musician so I've had well-controlled breathing for years.

+1,

except the trained musician bit.

the cold air is an real opener for me. Love it
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22-12-2010, 04:52   #13
murphy93
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The air is thicker ands is the mechanics of of your blood. watchout it can be harder.
http://knol.google.com/k/cold-weathe...ulatory-system#

http://www.valvereplacement.org/foru...p/t-28553.html
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