Very cold legs...

hi - I went for a 10M run yesterday in very cold temperatures wearing my usual leggings and light jacket etc, and realised as I ran my leg muscle were actually numb. I had no feeling in them at all and wondered if there is a risk of doing damage - I thought leg movement whilst running would warm them up? My legs feel very stiff this morning, despite stretching when I got home. Any comments?


  • You just have to wrap up more in this kind of weather, I don't normally feel the cold I so did last night that I had to cut my run short.
  • I went for a run yesterday in the cold, and felt my thigh muscles tighten up, and had some knee pain afterwards. Four inches of snow, and still falling, here in Cambridge today, so i think I will be giving it a miss.
  • My knees sometimes feel a bit stiff to start off with but they soon warm up.

    I went out for a run last night in two pairs of shorts and felt fine. It was only on my way to the pub a little later (in my jeans, coat, etc) that I realised how blimmin' freezing it was! (Then later on I was wearing an additional beer jacket and felt fine again.)
  • Bella I was the same yesterday morning. My thighs actually hurt; burning with the cold. But I reckon the muscles were fine - they're well lagged (speaking for myself - yours look pretty skinny from here) and it was the lagging that was freezing. The fat was doing its job and keeping the muscles warm.
  • ooh mine were stinging too - not nice! looks like I need to pad up a bit. As for running in shorts - are you mad?! Even 2 pairs!
  • Ha ha see you English have had easy for years now you know how it feels.Up here we are so hard its shorts and vest bring it on.
  • nutters, the lot of you! I am sticking to the treadmill tonight and yes, am 100% wuss! Bring on the thaw!
  • I got similar problems with my legs last winter mainly caused by windchill (its always windy in Blackpool where I do most of my running). They felt really stiff and affected my running, sometimes the run was over and I hadn't warmed up yet. I bought a pair of Sugoi MidZero tights which are "fleecy" on the inside and it has made a huge difference to my legs. They are actually quite thin but my legs warm up and my running feels much looser. They also allow me to get away with wearing a thin layer and a thin jacket on top as I'm not working as hard to keep warm.

    I was quite worried I'd overheat in them but that doesn't seem to be the case as I said above they are quite thin. I tried running once in my thicker fleece lined cycling tights and was sweating cobs.
  • Aha - they sound just what I need - thanks Tattiefritter
  • Thanks for the tip on the Mid Zero tights. I had the same problem the other day and I was thinking of trying my cycling tights - I guess not then!

    Finally it's starting to snow here. i was starting to feel left out.
  • Don't usually suffer but was doign a track session last night and pulled up as the muscles felt tight. After some more warming-up though they were fine.

    Snow is 4 inches and increasing here in Luton. M1 shut northbound due to an accident to decided not to travel to Milton Keynes but to work from home today. Fortunate that I can do that I suppose. Will put the jacket, hat and gloves on later and head out for a run. Still be shorts though - I like the amusement factor of watching people look at you as though you are mad as much an anything else :-)
  • "look at you as though you are mad" are mad! :0)
  • Bonkers!
  • Agree with JJ - You'll probably find your muscles are plenty warm enough, it's just the outer layer of fat which feels cold because it doesn't have the same blood vessels running through it - But the general numbness will make it feel as if your muscles are stiff.

    I think women suffer from this problem more than men because we tend to have more fat - Hence why lots of men can still run in skimpy shorts in the winter but we're all lagged up in our long leggings.

    I have to say, my legs were soooo freezing last night, even in long tights, and I wondered what else to wear on my legs to keep warmer - I did consider wearing a normal pair or ladies tights underneath - Has anyone ever tried this?

    My top half, which normally warms up really well, stayed quite chilly for the whole run.

    I'm glad I ran last night though - Don't fancy going out in the 6 inches of snow today.

  • I've just notices tattiefritter has answered my question further up the thread - Sugoi MidZero tights sound just what I need.

  • I went for a run last night wearing Icebreaker wool leggings under fleecy Lowe Alpine tights, and was wonderfully toasty :o) It was a LSR, so overdressedness wasn't an issue.

    I knew there was a reason why I bought loads of winter hillwalking gear in August!
  • I run in short(to the knee) running tights with long winter weight running tights over the top of them when it is cold like this .I find that keeps my legs nice and warm but as the tights are breathable I don't get too hot.
  • I definitely think my summer leggings need updating for these cold months!
    For those (mad) few who run in shorts, do your legs get warm whilst running? Mine were literally frozen numb when I got home yesterday even after 10 miles.
  • I was wearing shorts - funny thing is I have a substantial knee brace with a hole over the patella. When I was in the bath my legs were a fabulous pattern of dead yellow - where the shorts and brace had been - and bright red everywhere else. Including the strip on my left leg between the shorts and the brace, and a perfect circle over the knee.

  • My legs are fine once I start running. The only thing I struggle with sometimes is cold finger tips. Oh and ears if it's really cold, but it hasn't even got to hat temperature for me yet.
  • I did a 9 miler last evening in shorts and the legs were fine - my torso and face suffered much more 'cos of the sweat cooling quickly...................but I guess many years of playing rugby in shorts in all sorts of winter wind, mud, rain, snow etc has conditioned the leg muscles to cold...........
  • I hate it when my face thaws out coz my nose goes bright red.

  • I had the tingly fingers in the hot shower after despite wearing gloves - that always tells me it's very cold........
  • Phil - at what temperature do you start wearing hat??? -40? I'm fully kitted out in longs, hat, gloves, windproof and a couple of layers...Maybe you just run faster than I do...
  • I don't do hats. They pop off after three strides.

  • even if I pull them right down

  • nah, don't do hats either - get far too hot. Just gloves for me.
  • ooh, and leggings & jacket too! I don't streak honest!
  • Maybe I'm a cold blooded lizard! I've been wearing a hat for ages.
  • I had a hat on last night - to stop the headlight strap chafing........

    Jj - try a Gore running hat - lots of lycra so sits tight and snug and not too bulky either.........
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