Couch to 5K
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Cold weather and the inability to run properly - am I making excuses for myself?

I did go out yesterday, but it did not go according to plan. I had extra layers on, and gloves, and I was still chuffing cold. The warm up walk was as fast as I could go, and I was glad to break into a run at the normal point. But - I couldn't do it. I wasn't too out of breath, but the run itself was nigh-on impossible. Now, six months ago I would have panicked and sulked ("I'll never be a runner :( ") but now I know better and that we all have bad runs occasionally blah blah blah.

I ran when I could and took walking breaks when necessary. As I ran I was trying to analyse where the problem was, and I narrowed it down to my right shin and left quad. Two thoughts occurred:

1) was it still pain from the swiss ball class, and had I stretched my muscles more than I'd realised, or

2) does the cold really affect how your muscles work, or was I using this as an excuse?

What do you reckon? Do you find it more difficult to run when it's very cold?

7 Replies

I do sometimes, Annie. I use the reasoning that it takes my muscles longer then usual to warm up. My last run was horrid from the real reason, it just sucked. :-( I'm going out later today and dreading it because I don't want a repeat. In my head, I Know we all have good runs/bad runs, but sometimes its difficult to not let the self doubt surface. I'm positive for you, the combo of tender muscles from class and the cold had a lot to do with your run. True about how we need to look at things now compared to just 6 months ago. :-) Wishing you a fantastic next run and Swiss ball class! ;-) Gayle


Thanks, Gayle - that gives me hope! Perhaps I should have done some stretches just to loosen everything up before I left the house.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your run, that it's a good one and restores your faith in yourself. You are doing so fantastically well that it can be easy to feel disheartened when a run doesn't go according to plan - and it's actually easier if you know why it was a bad run e.g. you were tired, not properly hydrated etc. To have a bad run for no real reason is horrid, but you are getting back out there and I hope this is a good one today.

All the very best with it - let us know how you get on :)



Sounds like a combination of balls and weather to me! I think it's very easy to underestimate the impact of previous exercise. The cold wind and snow last night really made me feel way less enthusiastic than usual - I remember around 5 minutes thinking how much I'd like to stop! In fact, I was thinking of all the new starters, who've got to 5 minutes, and wondering how on earth I'd ever got past it! But I hadn't done a swiss ball class as well!


Thanks, Greenlegs - those balls have a lot to answer for! I'm very unfit anyway, so I suspect that it takes me longer than usual to recover from exercise. I'm sort of used to the running now but for example I swam today and now of course I'm wondering how tomorrow's run will go. However, time to worry about that tomorrow! Well done for going out in last night's cold and snow - brrrr!


My run went well Annie, it must of been all the good vibes you sent! ;-) It was cold though, so I tried to warm-up extra long, glad I did because I almost froze my patootie off! Thinking about it during this run, I do believe my muscles react differently to the cold. :-( I want Spring NOW!!! :-)


Oh, that's just great, Gayle! I'm so glad it went well - doesn't it make a difference to how you feel about yourself and life in general? And thank you for letting me know as well, that makes me happy and I'm so pleased for you :)

Do you think the blood flow around the body is different when it's cold? It does seem to make a huge difference to how my muscles work (or don't!). We need someone with a knowledge of anatomy or physiology to tell us :). Mind, 'cold' here was -2c and I rather think 'cold' with you is much, much colder :D

We had Spring today - well, nearly - and I went for a marvellous run too! I'll blog about it separately.


Could be Annie! Glad you had a well deserving Fab run!!! Anything from Fall to Spring is to cold for me! I'm a hot sun type of gal!!! Give me heat, sun and a cold drink...I'm happy!


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