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  1. #1
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    Cooler Weather Ride Effecting Cardio

    Has or does the cooler weather affect your cardio stamina?

    I went riding for the first time in a couple of weeks (way to long to go without riding) and the temp was 58 degrees. The last time I rode is was 95 degrees. Now I'm just getting back into riding and my cardio fitness had improved some, but today's ride kicked my butt.

    Could I have regressed that much so quickly, or do I have a whole new type of conditioning to look forward to with the cooler weather on it's way?

  2. #2
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    The answer to all training questions is simple: Ride, recover, and ride some more.

    Your body will adapt to it - happens to me every year.

    Oh! And don't forget that your body is working a little harder (using more energy) to fight that cold and keep warm, so gassing out can happen a little quicker. Dress in layers with moisture wicking cycling specific clothing (no cotton t-shirts and gym shorts) and keep your core and legs warm (largest muscles groups).

    Also, being off the bike for two weeks is probably working against you. I find as I get older, the longer breaks I take, the worst my comeback is.

  3. #3
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    In cooler weather I know I typically run faster and ride further without as much work.

    Maybe you were riding faster than last time and didn't realize it? I have a very old (around $10) bike computer that logs distance and time. It helps me keep track of any increase/decrease in my performance.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Trails View Post
    Has or does the cooler weather affect your cardio stamina?

    I went riding for the first time in a couple of weeks (way to long to go without riding) and the temp was 58 degrees. The last time I rode is was 95 degrees. Now I'm just getting back into riding and my cardio fitness had improved some, but today's ride kicked my butt.

    Could I have regressed that much so quickly, or do I have a whole new type of conditioning to look forward to with the cooler weather on it's way?
    Well yup if you are relatively untrained....

    60 F is pretty optimal for riding maybe from 60 to 75 F....

    Once it starts to get real cold say 25 F then things really start to slow down...increased air resistance, increased rolling resistance, increased clothing resistance....

    Don't believe well then just ride faster.

  5. #5
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    OP, my experience is opposite to that of yours (similar to what marpilli and jeffscot were eluding to).

    When the temps start dropping, but above my freezing, I notice that I can ride harder and much longer distances. Depends where you live and what your body is accustomed to as Dion said. I live in New Hampshire so we get temperature extremes and I love Spring and Fall riding best because of the ambient temperatures.

    The cooler my core stays, the more effort I can put in. But ....... ymmv

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  6. #6
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    I may have rode harder then I normally do just because it was cooler and it had been to long since I hit the trails, and I was anxious to go. But I bet it just boils down to needing conditioning and maybe having a slight case of chest congestion. My chest drew up tight like I was a smoker and I'm still having a bit of trouble exhaling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Trails View Post
    I may have rode harder then I normally do just because it was cooler and it had been to long since I hit the trails, and I was anxious to go.
    I'll bet this is what happened. Pick up an inexpensive bike computer (or put it on your birthday list). It's a good investment.

    Sometimes I'll try to beat my "best time" on a particular set of trail loops. Even cutting down my time by a minute or two I can feel the burn in my legs and I'm a bit sore the next day.
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  8. #8
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    Yeah....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    The answer to all training questions is simple: Ride, recover, and ride some more.

    Your body will adapt to it - happens to me every year.

    Oh! And don't forget that your body is working a little harder (using more energy) to fight that cold and keep warm, so gassing out can happen a little quicker. Dress in layers with moisture wicking cycling specific clothing (no cotton t-shirts and gym shorts) and keep your core and legs warm (largest muscles groups).

    Also, being off the bike for two weeks is probably working against you. I find as I get older, the longer breaks I take, the worst my comeback is.
    Layer up for 58 degrees? You're correct if you're riding in temps below freezing. You're incorrect at 58 degrees.

    The hotter the temp, the quicker your core temp rises. Once your core is up a degree or two, the faster your heart beats and it's harder to bring it down.

    So you should be able to ride better in cooler temps.

    For me, it's easier to regulate my body temp in cold weather. I prefer riding below freezing vs. above 100 because I can adjust layers and stay warm without overheating. Above 100 and hot is just hot and I can't really cool down.

    Ken
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    For me, it's easier to regulate my body temp in cold weather. I prefer riding below freezing vs. above 100 because I can adjust layers and stay warm without overheating. Above 100 and hot is just hot and I can't really cool down.

    Ken
    Do you sweat easily?

    The hotter temps don't bother me much, but I'm easy to sweat and sweat buckets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Trails View Post
    Could I have regressed that much so quickly, or do I have a whole new type of conditioning to look forward to with the cooler weather on it's way?
    colder air is more dense and has more oxygen in it. it should be easier to go faster and/or longer.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    Layer up for 58 degrees? You're correct if you're riding in temps below freezing. You're incorrect at 58 degrees.

    The hotter the temp, the quicker your core temp rises. Once your core is up a degree or two, the faster your heart beats and it's harder to bring it down.

    So you should be able to ride better in cooler temps.

    For me, it's easier to regulate my body temp in cold weather. I prefer riding below freezing vs. above 100 because I can adjust layers and stay warm without overheating. Above 100 and hot is just hot and I can't really cool down.

    Ken
    Not "layer up" like for arctic conditions. I use a long sleeve base layer under my jersey in cooler conditions, but I also have to correct myself and say that 58 degrees isn't that cold.

  12. #12
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    I do and enjoy my best riding in cooler/colder weather; I can ride longer, for longer distances, and do not have the need to constantly rehydrate. I am very heat intolerant, and do not enjoy riding in the summer months. While I still manage to ride atleast 5 miles per day on average in the summer, it's never enjoyable for me. Old Man Winter cannot get here soon enough for this rider.

  13. #13
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    Our Texas temp dropped from the normal 105-112 down to 69 this past Sunday. I did my normal Sunday ride and my HR stayed ~15% lower. I was in Heaven!

  14. #14
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    the air is cooler. therefor its more dense. your getitng more air per inhale.
    this is ofcourse different based upon your elevation.

  15. #15
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    Yes, density and temperature are inversely proportional...pV=mRT.

  16. #16
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    After giving it some thought, I do believe I ride better in cooler weather, too. I look back to last year and just realized that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Trails View Post
    I may have rode harder then I normally do just because it was cooler and it had been to long since I hit the trails, and I was anxious to go. But I bet it just boils down to needing conditioning and maybe having a slight case of chest congestion. My chest drew up tight like I was a smoker and I'm still having a bit of trouble exhaling.
    Could be some sort of exercise induced asthma.
    The 14 warmest years have all occurred in the 16 years since 1997.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Could be some sort of exercise induced asthma.
    Oh, good call, Bruce... OP, if it happens again you probably should make an appointment with your physician. You'll want to know if it's Asthma as that is something you do not want to ignore.
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  19. #19
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    Some good points made already but will add that it's a good idea to breathe in your nose, out your mouth but even more so the colder it is.
    Also, if you check psi was when tires are hotter, you will loose some psi when tires get colder.
    And especially elastomers, but also springs and oils will be effected by temps.
    Last edited by theMeat; 09-07-2011 at 06:43 AM.
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  20. #20
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    I'm excited to ride tomorrow in the mid 70's. Its been a long time since I've ridden in such 'cold' weather. I am expecting to perform noticeably better, but we'll see. I've begun to 'enjoy' 90 degrees and be 'OK' at 95 so maybe I'll actually struggle a little.

  21. #21
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    It only takes 10 days off of the bike to start to lose fitness.

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