Breathing while running is one of the most difficult and least pleasant moments for untrained runners. In cold weather, the discomfort is even worse: the cold air seems to burn the throat and lungs. How to get rid of it, get the maximum benefit, and enjoy winter running? Stop worrying about your lungs, breathe and get dressed properly!
A few words about erroneous judgements
When cold air starts to burn our lungs, we start to worry that we can catch a cold or a sore throat and even pneumonia (that is what doubting people think). But in fact, the air enters our lungs already warmed up.
Whatever the temperature outside, the temperature of the air that reaches the bottom of our trachea is always about 37°C. The air burns our lungs not because it is icy, but because it is very dry.
That is, while jogging in the desert or anywhere with a very dry climate, your lungs will burn in the same way as during winter running.
How to get rid of the burning sensation in the lungs
Facilitate breathing while jogging in cold weather in several ways.
The first and easiest way is to take a buff or a special scarf for running. This “cover” will keep the moisture released in the form of exhaled water vapour inside the created reservoir; so the inhaled air will not be dry. In very cold weather, you can use a special balaclava, which will reliably protect you from the piercing winter frost.
Also do not forget about drinking enough water. When the weather is not so hot, you do not want to drink, but the need to restore our water balance during exercise still remains. In cold weather, few people take a bottle of water for a run. We really waste less moisture, and we want to drink even less. But do not forget to get your daily water intake and drink more on training days.
And the last thing is to try to breathe slowly, making smooth breaths. No sudden and quick inhaling and exhaling. Such an abrupt air flow will irritate the surface of the trachea that is already inflamed a little because of the dry air. It is better to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. When you inhale through the nose, the air warms and moisturizes better.
If you have certain problems with breathing through the nose, it is possible to inhale and exhale through the nose and mouth at the same time, with the tip of the tongue slightly raised to the palate. Thus the air will be warmed better, and it will be easier to breathe. This must be added to the listed above smooth breathing and a protective scarf.
Another trouble is the icy wind in your face. In this case, many people advise to just run in the direction where the wind blows. You hardly find the direction to be so much important when you are jogging because the main thing is to keep the pace and distance. It is much nicer to run with the wind than to choke, freeze the face, and constantly wipe your watery eyes.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make running outside in cold weather more pleasant.