Experiment: Does Running in Cold Weather Make Me Burn More Calories? (Part 2)

I did a second test of my Running Cold Experiment last Saturday afternoon! Methodology was the same as Trial 1, with similar conditions, although about 8 degrees warmer.

Qualitative Data: Thoughts on Motivation and Level of Physical Fitness

I’m a bit ashamed to say that Trial 1 where I finished the mil at 11 minutes was one of my faster miles up to that point. Only a few times had I ever completed a full mile run without walking part of it.

BUT on Trial 1, my main motivation was that it was COLD. The run was very chilly at 35 degrees, which helped motivate me to push onward (and how!).

For Trial 2, it was still cold but not quite as bad, and this time my main motivation to push onward was that my brother joined me on the run, which always adds a bit of a competitive element. Although the time spent running on Trial 2 was 30 to 60 seconds shorter than Trial 1, Trial 2 felt less laborious.

After running Trial 1, I felt pretty sick for about 30 minutes afterward. This is probably because I hadn’t done much running in a long time! I recovered significantly faster and felt better after Trial 2, and was much less sore the next day, as compared with Trial 1.

I know this is not because of lowered output because I actually made better time on Trial 2. A possible explanation is that my endurance improved after the first Trial. It doesn’t seem like I should notice such a marked improvement so fast after just one run.

I don’t know what that might mean for the experiment though, because my physical condition is another factor that could potentially influence the MET and calorie measures I am tracking. In the future I will be adding Heart Rate to the metrics I track in the hope that I can use it to help control for physical fitness level.

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