For some of you this will be fairly obvious. However, I am pretty new to running and this is my first winter I have experienced running in lower temperatures.
But I was curious if there were any adverse effects of running in, say, 30 deg. F temperatures as opposed to 70 or 80 deg. F. Let me tell you what I have learned – both from experience as well as some reading…
First of all, I find that I rather enjoy cold weather running. It certainly beats the stale, musty air of my basement where my treadmill is! I also find that I don’t feel quite as tired as I do when running in 80 degree temps. Hot weather really drains me (and I am willing to bet many others too).
Since I have not been running long – and the fact that I am no doctor – I decided to do some checking to make sure I wasn’t doing anything to my insides by breathing in all that cold air. Not that I felt anything wrong or even uncomfortable. I didn’t. But we know that just because you can’t feel something bad doesn’t mean something bad isn’t happening, right? I call it erring on the side of caution. After all… I ain’t getting any younger.
One of the things I am learning about running as a sport is the number of people who run regularly – in all kinds of weather. In fact, where I run, no matter how cold (or hot) it is, SOMEONE is out there running. It’s no surprise to read about yet another set of 5K and 10K runs throughout our area. In fact there was one I was invited to this past Sunday morning. I couldn’t make that but I did notice that at the start time, the temperature was 28 degrees.
I was in my warm house thinking “Brrrrrrr!” And I got curious as to whether breathing in that cold air had any adverse effects. I was pleased to learn that it really doesn’t.
At extreme cold temperatures, they recommend running with a scarf or something around your mouth, along with proper running clothes. This helps keep moisture inside your mouth when breathing, preventing the “burning sensation” in the throat some people experience. Otherwise, simply dress appropriately.
Here are a few links to articles that have some good tips for dressing:
Cold Weather Running Safety Tips
Is Cold Weather Running Bad For You?
How To Dress For Cold Weather Running
Running In The Cold – Dr. Pribut
Remember – when you go for your runs, stay withing your comfort zone. Your endurance level. That’s common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of that once in a while 🙂