Hi all, weather here has got a lot colder since my last outside ride. I did one of my usual 20mile training loops and found my numbers (power,avrg speed) were all down. Please say others experience this in the cold. My power is still good indoors.
Two aspects to cold air, firstly it’s more dense so you get less forward momentum for the same watts and secondly it takes a while for the body to adapt to changes in air temperature so if you’re doing the same 20 mile loop you might look at elongating your ride to include a warm up before you start your loop as this would give your muscles an opportunity to warm up ( more efficient) and your lungs and windpipe to adapt to the temperature change.
I suffered from asthma as a child and my performance always drops in cold air, as a context I’m talking around freezing point but as soon as the air temperature warms up I’m fine.
Interesting, I have the opposite results.
@slowmart Totally agree the cold air is more dense but I doubt it would cause more drag… I would think it would improve breathing if air density is any factor.
Time triallists in the UK will always hope for a low air density day, it’s a huge speed factor as you’d expect.
Air density, less aero in winter clothes, cold muscles all play a role. I think another factor is psychological, you’re probably holding back a bit, instead of blasting into a wet, leaf-covered corner. There’s a reason winter is for long slow rides. Or moving somewhere warmer…
As someone who lives where it’s hot and humid 9 months out of the year (south Texas), I love the winter rides! Can’t wait to retire somewhere that it’s fun to go outside in July!
Another Tx rider here (DFW). I too look forward to riding Fall through end of spring.
These points pretty much cover it.
For me it is like someone flicks a switch < 2 degrees not everyday but most, feels like there is no O2 in the air. Not been diagnosed with Asthma but breathing is very noticeably harder ~< 2C
It’s pretty common. If it’s very cold blood flow will be restricted to the extremities to conserve heat in the core - affecting performance. You also get a shivering response (that starts way before you can detect it) that burns through your muscle glycogen stores.
@Bbt67 - I get this too on harder efforts, it’s a b*tch.