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Heat management: sweating while still feeling cold?

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Heat management: sweating while still feeling cold?

Postby kheegster » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:23 am

I've been experimenting running with my different layers while running to test breathability and managing my temperature. I've worn both fleeces and softshells while running in around 30 degree temps, and I felt they made me overheat and sweat somewhat during my runs.

So today I wore my Marmot Essence jacket, made of Marmot's proprietary fabric that is supposed to be almost breathable as eVent but is super light (< half pound). It was kinda windy and I definitely felt cold, yet I sweating a bit. Not as much as I would during summer, but definitely it was obvious I was working out. I guess I could have taken off my hat but I had headphones and sunglasses on so I didn't want to mess with those.

Is it unavoidable to sweat while doing high output activity even when it's cold?
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Postby Day Hiker » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:53 am

kheegster wrote:Is it unavoidable to sweat while doing high output activity even when it's cold?


Yes.

The fact that we sweat during activity is the reason breathability is an important property of clothing. If people had zero perspiration in cold weather, there would be no reason to have wicking cold-weather underlayers and breathable cold-weather shells.

I never lived in any temperatures TOO extreme, but I did run several times in single-digit Fahrenheit temps and one time in minus 2 F. After about the first mile, I would sweat noticeably, regardless of how cold the air was.

Any time I hike, I sweat. In cold, dry weather with good ventilation, it might not be obvious, but it's happening. Try wearing a plastic trash bag as an underlayer, and you would see the moisture right away.
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Postby foweyman » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:16 am

Yes, it's very difficult to not end up with sweat-soaked clothing after a run in cold weather, but occasionally after lots of trial-and-error and close monitoring, I have managed to do it. Recommendations: Warm up so that you are on the verge of sweating while still inside (lift weights, pushups, run stairs etc). This will allow you to wear the minimum and still not be cold when you step outside. As you run and heat up, monitor your heat level and begin venting heat before you start sweating. The outer shell is first (I use a simple nylon windbreaker because the waterproof/breathable shells are too air tight) Unzip your outer shell and eventually remove it and tie it around your waist. If you need more venting, roll up the sleeves of the wicking underlayer(s) or remove one of them. My hands and ears feel the cold easily so gloves and headband are the last things to go.
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Postby Day Hiker » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:47 pm

Between 1994 and 2006, when I was able to run on a regular basis, I got to know pretty well what to wear at a given temperature, and I had a temperature-wind-clothing table in my head.

Above 50 or 55F, I used to wear just shorts and no shirt, for example. At 25 or 30F, similar to what was mentioned in the OP, I would wear lightweight polyester running pants (not form-fitting like long underwear). On top, I would wear a long-sleeve polyester shirt with a sweatshirt over that. I would also wear light cotton gloves and a balaclava.

As soon as I warmed up (after about the first mile maybe), I would ditch the sweatshirt and then sometimes the balaclava as well. (Keep in mind that my normal running distance was 3.1 or 3.2 miles, so that's a hard, fast run, often over 90% of max heart rate after the first mile.)

If my cool-down walk path took me by a particular spot on the run, I would make a point of ditching the clothes there as I ran by. I often ran at night or early morning, and nobody ever messed with my stuff.

But unless I was already fired up about something, like lifting weights, there was no way I was going to start off cold in the early morning without the sweatshirt and balaclava in 25 or 30F!
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Postby DukeJH » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:47 pm

I've found that to be comfortable during a cold run I need to be cold at the start. I wear shorts down to 32F. Below 32F I wear either track pants or fleece lined tights depending on the wind. I go sleeveless to around 60 (unless I'm racing), long sleeve to around 50, and a nylon vest to about 40, and nylon jacket below 40 or so. The gloves go on at 50 and the knit hat at 40. I've only run with a balaclva once and didn't much care for it.

I still sweat but try to minimize it by regulating base layer exposure to air.

I adjust temprature by opening and closing the vest/jacket zipper and if I'm really toasty I'll remove my hat.

runnersworld.com has a decent "what should I wear tool" that can serve as a baseline for experimentation.

Sunday in TX was cold, calm, clear and 15F but I ran my 6 miles anyway in tights, New Balance biovent shirt, nylon jacket, soft shell glove, and knit hat. It was refreshing!
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Postby RayMondo » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:00 pm

Latent heat of vaporisation:

A wicking (moisture-conducting) body shirt works best if it's a close fit. That way the sweat is drawn straight off and not leaving you open to exposed wet skin and the consequent effect of "the latent heat of vaporisation". An endothermic reaction. Evaporating water going to the gas state requires energy. This energy is drawn from your body, and thus the skin would feel and be colder. As the saying goes - cotton kills.

Relative humidity is another factor. Moist air can make you feel colder because it draws heat out of you. Though high humidity also lowers sweat transport, so you don't cool as much by the vaporisation effect. When the air is both bone dry and hot, you might think you are not sweating, but it's going straight to vapour and cooling you less. Hence more likely to get Hyperthermia in very hot and dry conditions.
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Postby gregorpatsch » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:30 pm

I sweat a lot. I've learned to accept a certain about of sweating, so long as it's not excessive. Trying to manage my layers such that I never sweated would take too much attention. I've been happy with capilene baselayers since they seem to dry pretty quickly and feel pretty warm even when wet. For short excursions (less than an hour), I don't even worry about it. I'll wear cotton when running sometimes, because I'm home before I start to cool off. (Sometimes, I intentionally overdress to get a good sweat going.) It's when I'm out all day that I worry about having wet clothes. That said, I also use running as a good way to experiment with layers, since running and hiking uphill seem about equal in terms of heat output. For me, in the 30's = capilene 4 top, light fleece hat and gloves. In the teens and 20's = R1 hoody (worn by itself), hat and gloves. I don't run if it's colder than that. I moderate temps with the baselayer zipper and hat as these can easily be done on the move. Wind will cut through the baselayer, but I find any shell, soft or hard, too warm when running.

Another thing I've found is that I prefer to wear a thicker baselayer rather than two thinner layers. For example, I would rather wear my R1 hoody by itself, than a silk weight baselayer over a light fleece. Seems to work just as well for me, and it's simpler and lighter.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:19 pm

MikeTX wrote:i sweat a lot...i mean A LOT. if i do cardio at the gym for 30 minutes with my heartrate around 160 there will literally be a puddle on the floor when i'm done.


Same thing happens to me in the gym wearing my pack while working out on a Stairmaster. The sweat drips off my nose, chin and even my forearms making a mess all over. I haven't found this to be a problem on cold-weather climbs at altitude. I don't sweat this much out there because I climb slowly to acclimatize and avoid the "dash and crash", because I'm middle-aged and because I never was a fast climber to begin with. Also, there are plenty of zips in my clothing to open up and let the heat out.
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Postby ScottyP » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:34 pm

Brad, aren't the looks you get on the SM wearing a pack priceless!! It took a while but now I think my whole gym knows what I am doing. There was the time I forgot to fill my water bottles for weight and had to use 2 weight plates. Wasn't an issue until I got home and they were still in there!
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Postby John Duffield » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:27 am

I'm running a half marathon Sunday. I like to avoid excessive sweating since it makes me feel dizzy and it not only takes time for me to process the replacement water but I like to avoid the water stops. So I'll run in a Capeline base layer with a light shell. The forecast is 40 degrees and rain which is perfect running weather for me. I expect to sweat about a litre and exhale another half litre.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:02 am

ScottyP wrote:Brad, aren't the looks you get on the SM wearing a pack priceless!! It took a while but now I think my whole gym knows what I am doing. There was the time I forgot to fill my water bottles for weight and had to use 2 weight plates. Wasn't an issue until I got home and they were still in there!


That's funny and, yes, I certainly get those strange looks. I'm 45 years old, slightly overweight, working out at the local university and everyone entering has to walk past the SMs. I can't imagine what all those young, female university students are thinking when they walk by me with their rock-hard bods and well shaped....what were we talking about again?
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Postby Day Hiker » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:12 am

John Duffield wrote:I'm running a half marathon Sunday. I like to avoid excessive sweating since it makes me feel dizzy and it not only takes time for me to process the replacement water but I like to avoid the water stops. So I'll run in a Capeline base layer with a light shell. The forecast is 40 degrees and rain which is perfect running weather for me. I expect to sweat about a litre and exhale another half litre.


How do you know or figure that 2:1 ratio?

The total amount sounds right, based only on my personal experience. My normal run here used to be 3.2 miles on the hilly streets in my neighborhood. That would take around 22 minutes (because of the damn hills). Then my cool-down walk was 1 or 1.5 miles in 20 or 30 minutes, for a total time out of less than an hour. In that short time, I would usually lose 3 pounds of water.

But of course I had no way to know how much was in sweat and how much was exhaled. I just knew what the scale consistently told me before and after.

Your 13.1 is a lot longer, but maybe (hopefully, for my ego) you don't run it as hard as I ran my 3.2. :D

And it's probable that your body weight is considerably less than my 215 to 220 when I was running some years back.
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Postby Day Hiker » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:13 am

Brad Marshall wrote:. . . all those young, female university students . . . with their rock-hard bods and well shaped....what were we talking about again?


+1

:twisted:
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