Running in cold weather (Read 82 times)




    It's around 20˚F now in where I live. Will it be safe for my lung to run about a half hour in this weather? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

      My avatar photo is me after 11 miles at -10 deg F.  I had better icicles at -20 deg F, but the camera was not at hand.  My largest problem with running in cold temperatures (below -10 deg F) is the ice balls build up on my eyelashes and pull my eyelids shut.  Then I have to pull off a glove and melt the ice balls with a finger before the finger gets too cold to melt the ice balls.


      Dress for the weather and you will be fine.


        Wow you are a champ! Thank you so much!


          There is absolutely no problem for the lungs. No advice necessary. Maybe if you have a lung condition like asthma it's different. I'm no doctor, but I run outside all year. This is from personal experience only.


          You need to dress properly so you're not cold and you don't overheat, but it is not a lung concern.

          Feel free to ignore what you've just read. 


            Thank you all, now I can run in cold temp without any concern!


              When I first started running, I experienced some coughing in very cold air, but I seem to have adapted quickly.  No problem now, but if it's in the single digits or below, I'm breathing through my balaclava.

              Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
              - Mark Twain

              Prince of Fatness

                You need to dress properly so you're not cold and you don't overheat, but it is not a lung concern.


                Yeah, my biggest concern when I'm running in cold weather is overheating, believe it or not.  If you are nice and toasty when you start running you'll almost surely overheat.  You want to be a little uncomfortably cold when you start, then you'll warm up and be fine.


                Disclaimer:  The coldest that it ever gets for me is single digits.



                  Really good point from MrFinn. For 30 minutes you shouldn't have to worry too much. But when I run 2 or more hours in really cold weather (single digits or lower) I try not to stray TOO from home in case I need to duck inside and warm up. I'm a heavy sweater, and even slightly overdressing can cause me to overheat...then those layers that were keeping me warm trap moisture...then it gets real cold real quick.


                  Pro-tip: tucking one or more base layer into your bottom layer cuts off the air from getting to your torso (convection!), keeping you warmer. If you feel like you're overheating just untuck those layers and let the cold air in, which will also help evaporate sweat. I estimate this gives me roughly a 10 degree cushion if I'm not sure exactly how to dress. I often start my run tucked until I warm up, then untuck after a couple miles.


                  Everyone has different issues with different parts of their body when running in the cold - you'll see an infamous, recurring thread elsewhere - which you'll find from experience and learn to address. Happy winter running!

                    You also have to dress for the *type* of run you're doing. Fast running generates more heat than slow running (physics!) So for easy runs I dress a lot different from hill workouts or tempos. Learning how to dress warm enough to keep easy pace easy so you're not temped to turn up the pace to keep warm, is a skill in itself.

                    Runners run.