I am curious to hear others feel how much cold weather affects pace on quality sessions. I did mile repeats last night in 18 degree weather with 7 deg windchill and didn't have problems with pacing and perceived effort. I know that it probably adds a 3 to 5 seconds a mile but it is interesting when you look at articles on runnersconnect or runneracademy (by the way, I feel that these two sites do a lot of uncredited plagiarizing and in no way agree with the impact that they state cold weather affects you), the temps above should have slowed my down by 3/4% using 18 degrees and 5/6% for 7 deg windchill. These numbers are huge and no way reflect what I am seeing. My easy runs are not really slower either unless footing is an issue.
From what is stated below, I can see some impact and am curious how it affects others:
- You rely on carbohydrates more and less on fats for energy
- Your lactate production is higher for a given intensity, indicating that you’re going deeper into “oxygen debt” to produce the necessary energy to maintain a given pace (as evidenced by a higher oxygen consumption rate in colder temperatures)
- Your muscle contractions are less powerful, which demands an increase in fast-twitch muscle fiber usage, perhaps explaining the higher lactate production
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