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  1. #1
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Paging asgelle, Enthalpic: temperature/performance info?

    So last night, in addition to the several complete stops/dismounts/running/remounts I had to make during my botched 20min test, my lungs were on fire due to the 15 degree temperatures. I can ride all day/night at a mellow pace in these conditions, but really putting any effort into it makes my lungs hurt, and I just can't produce the power I'm accustomed to seeing.

    Is there any evidence of a physiological "breaking point", at which the body simply cannot perform at a high level, in response to low temperatures? I'd assume some sort of self-preservation/calorie saving mechanism is at hand, but I'm not sure.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Duke of Kent; 12-05-08 at 09:56 AM.
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  2. #2
    Rice Baker ted ward's Avatar
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    sounds like exercise induced asthma

    http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTR...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    Page 2023

  3. #3
    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    yeah that's not a natural reaction. We used to xc ski race down to -8F, and a 3k skate is about as intense as it gets. I don't remember having a noticeable decrease in ability when it got really cold.
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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd try a puff or two of albuterol 5m before you leave (borrow an old puffer from a friend). If that works for you, then get to a Dr. and get a prescription.

    Make sure to inhale it properly so many people do it wrong. Exhale completely, hold puffer an inch or two away from your lips, puff and start inhaling smoothly with a moderate speed (don't suck in all at once). Keep going until your lungs are full, then hold your breath for a while (15s or more).

    I have exercise induced asthma, and it sounds like you describe.

    I do know that there are some studies about muscle temperature drops with drops in strength, so that's something to consider too.

  5. #5
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    I get the same lung-fire with cold temps, Duke. I thought everyone got it.
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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    I get the same lung-fire with cold temps, Duke. I thought everyone got it.
    I think lots of people have some level of asthma symptoms in different situations, and I think cold air on the lungs in high volume triggers it in a lot of people. You should try albuterol sometime

    In the Colorado air, it would mess me up for 3 hours after I get back from a ride (tough to exhale w/out heavy wheezing). If I use albuterol, I can stay normal full-time, although I rarely need it in Austin (not as dry).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I think lots of people have some level of asthma symptoms in different situations, and I think cold air on the lungs in high volume triggers it in a lot of people. You should try albuterol sometime

    In the Colorado air, it would mess me up for 3 hours after I get back from a ride (tough to exhale w/out heavy wheezing). If I use albuterol, I can stay normal full-time, although I rarely need it in Austin (not as dry).
    Yeah. It's snowing here right now. But instead of it being a storm, it's water vapor condensing, freezing, and falling out of the atmosphere. There isn't a cloud in the sky right now.

    Oh, and it's 12*F right now. Marvelous.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Stupid lake.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Stupid lake.
    Nah, I'm far enough west that we don't get any lake effect snow, unless the wind is doing some REALLY weird *****, if that's what you're referring to with that.
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  10. #10
    Quarq shill cslone's Avatar
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    I have the same issue here in Ohio. Anything below about 30 and any activity kills me. My lungs are on fire and I wheeze for a few hours after, say a cross race of fast group ride. I did the tests for EIA at the doctor and they gave me an inhaler to try. It's worked wonders. Although I just tend to stay in on the trainer below 35 degrees now.
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    Senior Member grom's Avatar
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    Duke,

    While this probably isn't going to help you it is amazing to see how much temp can affect power output (if the model is true). Thinking of your post yesterday about riding through snow etc...

  12. #12
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Exhale completely, hold puffer an inch or two away from your lips, puff and start inhaling smoothly with a moderate speed (don't suck in all at once). Keep going until your lungs are full, then hold your breath for a while (15s or more).
    This sounds so familiar. I'm trying to figure out where I did something like this in the past...

  13. #13
    cmh
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    I get the same lung-fire with cold temps, Duke. I thought everyone got it.
    I used to get some of this as well at cold temps (when in Chicago, it rarely gets cold enough out here in Portland). But if I remember correctly, I seemed to get used to the cold after a few weeks or a month of it. No power meter, so I have no idea how it affected my power output.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    This sounds so familiar. I'm trying to figure out where I did something like this in the past...

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Killing Rabbits
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    Mild cold improves performance, extreme cold hinders performance. You can find all sorts of information about how hypothermia impairs performance, however, I believe you are talking about a scenario where your core temp is normal but you are suffering from breathing cold air.

    Cold air does decrease lung function –and can even cause mild damage- but its effect on performance is much less pronounced (ventilation is not usually performance limiting).

    Before you go medication seeking, notice that asthma medications do not improve cold weather exercise performance, although you might feel better.

    I wouldn’t over think one bad workout in crappy conditions.



    Airway cooling and mucosal injury during cold weather exercise.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
    that exercise in cold weather experience peripheral airway mucosal injury due to the penetration of unconditioned air. Furthermore, these results suggest that airway cooling and desiccation may be a factor in airway inflammation


    Effects of formoterol on endurance performance in athletes at an ambient temperature of -20 degrees C.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum
    Inhaled formoterol did not improve endurance performance in cold environments compared with placebo, although formoterol significantly improved lung function (FEV1, FEF50 and PEF) and HR 4 min after the start of the exercise.

    Montelukast has no ergogenic effect on cycle ergometry in cold temperature.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...ubmed_RVDocSum


    Salmeterol and physical performance at -15 degrees C in highly trained nonasthmatic cross-country skiers.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9...ubmed_RVDocSum
    Despite a significant improvement in FEV1, salmeterol did not have a beneficial effect on heart rate, blood lactate concentration, respiratory exchange ratio, oxygen uptake or minute ventilation during the exercise protocol. Running time to exhaustion was not significantly different from placebo.


    Influence of a beta2-agonist on physical performance at low temperature in elite athletes.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9...ubmed_RVDocSum
    Although there is a slight bronchodilatation and potential negative airways effect of cold air inhalation, a beta2-agonist does not increase physical performance in top athletes.

  17. #17
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    This sounds so familiar. I'm trying to figure out where I did something like this in the past...
    Hahaha.
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  18. #18
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    Before you go medication seeking, notice that asthma medications do not improve cold weather exercise performance, although you might feel better.
    Although, if the athlete is asthmatic, medication can improve performance. In cold, dry weather, I get so wheezy that I'm completely distracted and unable to push hard. It's beyond just a comfort issue. Albuterol eliminates those symptoms.

  19. #19
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    I did some poking around on this topic recently; finally found a textbook on sports science with a chapter on this. Anyway, summarizing, as long as you're not shivering or sweating (too much), it should be no big deal unless you suffer from any of a few common ailments - asthma being most common.
    Last edited by Creakyknees; 12-05-08 at 01:42 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Duke of Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    Mild cold improves performance, extreme cold hinders performance. You can find all sorts of information about how hypothermia impairs performance, however, I believe you are talking about a scenario where your core temp is normal but you are suffering from breathing cold air.

    Cold air does decrease lung function –and can even cause mild damage- but its effect on performance is much less pronounced (ventilation is not usually performance limiting).

    Before you go medication seeking, notice that asthma medications do not improve cold weather exercise performance, although you might feel better.

    I wouldn’t over think one bad workout in crappy conditions.
    Core temp fine, lungs hurting something fierce.

    In reading the literature regarding symptoms of EIA, it would seem that it might be worth my while to at least head in for a consult with my physician. Not being able to take a deep breath for several hours after a hard crit is not pleasant, particularly when trying to fall asleep at night.
    "If a non personal post makes you feel as if you've been attacked, maybe the problem IS you."

  21. #21
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
    it would seem that it might be worth my while to at least head in for a consult with my physician. Not being able to take a deep breath for several hours after a hard crit is not pleasant, particularly when trying to fall asleep at night.
    For sure, especially if you are also suffering after warm weather efforts. Although pretty much everyone coughs a bit after hard efforts. After one short hill climb TT I did this year the parking lot sounded like a TB ward.

    If it is only bad in cold weather consider a thin mouth covering to humidify the air before resorting to drugs.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Huh. I have EIA (technically "bronchiospasm" not asthma) and my lungs don't hurt. I wheeze and have problems breathing during hard efforts when it is cold and wet. And I get "pursuiters cough" after hard efforts/races. But nothing hurts. Then again I am not trying to ride in 15 degree weather.

    Also, Albuterol doesn't work for everyone. It's not very effective for me.

  23. #23
    Village Idiot
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    Not completely unrelated, but I've had septum surgery twice for a deviated septum.

    The doctor prescribed astelin, which has an active ingredient of azelastine hydrochloride, and it does a great job of opening my passages and preventing me from wheezing when I exercise hard. I only use it for races though.

    I have a small sample of it, if your doctor prescribes that, ask for a sample and you'll be able to see if it works for you or not. Good luck!
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