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Old 10-24-2005
ClayEdgin ClayEdgin is offline
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Default Cold air harder to breathe?

The last month or so, it has really cooled down. In fact, I can remember going to work in July and having it be 70 at 6:30 am. Right now it is 35 and it will be dropping below freezing any day now. I've never trained in cold weather like this - California's winters get maybe 50 degrees at coldest during the day.

The last few weeks, Travis and I have been sucking wind hard after each time we do an event outdoors and we shouldn't be. It just feels like there is no air to breathe when I'm panting.

I did some research last night and found that in order for the oxygen to be properly absorbed in your lungs, it needs to be brought up to your core temperature (98.6) before being exhaled. When the air is cold and you're panting, the oxygen doesn't stay in your lungs long enough to get warmed up so in fact it IS harder to breathe when it's cold.

I also checked out some mountain biking forums and there were a few threads about this. Most of the recommendations those people gave was to purchase a special mask or breathing unit but I don't like the idea of sounding like Darth Vader during training. Another more reasonable approach was to wrap a scarf around your neck and mouth so you can heat up the air coming into your body better. I do NOT intend to neglect my event training all winter so it looks like I'll be shopping for a man-scarf soon.

This is probably all common knowledge to you guys, but I've never lived in colder weather before so it was interesting to me. What do you guys do to train in the winter?
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Old 10-24-2005
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Winter? What's that?

When it is the coldest down here, I may dress like an eskimo, but the temperature is still just around 50* or so.
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Old 10-24-2005
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I have asthma and the cold air causes massive problems for me if I don't wear a mask of some sort. I usually use a scarf, but I am going to try one of those neoprene half face mask things this winter. You will probably need to do something similar.
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Old 10-24-2005
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As long as you don't have asthma or exercise induced asthma, don't worry about the scarf. Just train outside in the cold, and you will adapt to the change in temp in a short time. Since strongman training is not nearly the aerobic sport cycling or running is, I wouldn't worry about the small change in O2 saturation (it is nothing compared to altitude training). Now when it gets so cold that the bars start to make your hands go numb, then put on a pair of work gloves and keep going. I train all winter long in my unheated garage, and it can get pretty cold here in Iowa. I find the biggest problem is the extra clothes start to limit my range(s) of motion in some lifts (like OHP, cleans, and even stones).
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Old 10-24-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Davis
Winter? What's that?

When it is the coldest down here, I may dress like an eskimo, but the temperature is still just around 50* or so.
The two times I've been to florida was in "Winter", I was sweating buckets and burning up in the sun with my muscle shirt and beach shorts but the locals were wearing sweatshirts and long pants.
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Old 10-24-2005
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Cold air does limit your oxygen intake, Clay. And remember living in Rio Rancho you are over 5000ft as well. But your body will get accustomed to the change as time goes by. I had the same problem as a Freshman at the Univ of New Mexico way back in 91, but after my first year in the altitude and cold, I had zero problems. Just allow your body to get used to the changes. You will be ok in no time!! Good Training!!
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Old 10-24-2005
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Hey Clay- With regards to your asthma, the ratio of gases in the air you breathe must correspond to the your individual needs. The ratio of oxygen to nitrogen is about 1:4. This ratio does not change as air cools; it's normally location dependent. As air cools, it condenses and the amounts of nitrogen oxygen argon etc. increase proportionally across the board, especially in lower altitudes and coastal locations. Any changes in the ratio of gases could have a negative effect on certain conditions such as asthma. For example, the percentage of oxygen increases, it causes the % of nitrogen to decrease and in turn can cause obstruction of your respiratory system. The benefit of breathing cool, clean condensed air is that the saturation of nitrogen you're breathing will force your body to convert the excess into more nitrogen monoxide, which causes a temporary compensatory vasodialation (which can become permanent over time) the benefits being lowered blood pressure, increased energy, disease resistance and although not documented, I'd have to imagine increased caloric expenditure in conjunction with cooler weather; thats a good thing.
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Old 10-24-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBaier
... I train all winter long in my unheated garage, and it can get pretty cold here in Iowa. I find the biggest problem is the extra clothes start to limit my range(s) of motion in some lifts (like OHP, cleans, and even stones).
I train in an unheated garage also, it got so cold last year that the CD player wouldn't work and my son was complaining about the bar being so cold I wrapped it in athletic tape. But I like training in the cold, start with lots of layers and then start shedding them as I warm up. I am glad the summer is over cuz my unheated garage is also un-cooled, it was over a 100 a few times in the garage.
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Old 10-24-2005
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Sounds like my garage - complete extremes! I like to train in the morning in summer when the garage is cooler and in the afternoon in the winter when the garage has a chance to warm up from the sun. I can always tell how cold it is in the garage by the brightness of my flourescent bank of lights... when it is really cold, they won't even come on! However, I will admit the fall and spring are my favorite times - the garage is at normal room temp or a little cooler!
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Old 10-24-2005
Cory Strack Cory Strack is offline
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I train in a cold garage in upstate NY. Last winter i was out there when it was -30 degrees. I used a salamander heater to stay warm. This winter i plan on purchasing a nice space heater. It's already in the mid 30's here. Breathign in the cold is a problem, but you get used to it. I played pond hockey throughout my entire childhood and we'd be sucking wind the first few times but after that we'd be playing in tshirts and sweating beads.
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