Weathering the Run

Running in bad weather is one of the hardest things to do. This past week when I was home for Spring Break, we got about 8 inches of snow. As we move closer to summer, there will be more and more hot days, which may seem more intimidating than the blizzarding days. Although there are times to avoid running outside because it is unsafe, there are also steps you can take in all weather conditions to get yourself out the door.

The most important thing to notice before going for a run is whether the conditions are safe. If the roads and sidewalks are icy, it may be best to run inside or take a day off. Conversely, there are some days that it is too hot to run outside. Some days there are heat warnings, other days the temperature may be too high to run at certain times outdoors. There are ways to get around these safety issues. The first is to run at different times, such as early in the morning or late at night. I have found that when it is hot outside, I have more success running after the sun goes down. It may still be hot, but there is no direct sunlight beating down on you. Early in the morning is also a good time to run, because there is still a cool breeze in the air. If it is snowy, you can bundle up and try to either find quiet roads where you can run in the street, or find a short loop with shoveled sidewalks, which you can run a couple times. In both hot and cold weather, it is important to stay well hydrated. These are a few physical ways to get around adverse weather conditions, but there are definitely mental roadblocks to running in tough weather as well.

If you have a schedule to run, you may find it difficult to break the schedule to run early in the morning or late at night. However, remember that it may be good for your training to shake things up a little once in a while. Races are often early in the morning, so waking up early to go for a run can help prepare you for this situation. I also find that running at night is a fun experience, and it helps to keep things interesting. One important thing to remember when running in both hot and cold weather is that you are likely to run slower. This is not a sign that you are weaker or are losing your training, but is just a result of the weather. In extreme conditions, it is usually better to run based on how you feel rather than a certain time or pace. Do not be disappointed if your times are slower, because it is common to run slower in both hot and cold weather, for different reasons. This will only help you to become stronger and more prepared for different situations that all may arise on race day.

Preparing yourself physically and mentally for different situations is important, and it will help you to be mentally prepared for any situation on race day. Going out of your comfort zone will only make you stronger, so tackle any problems that come at you knowing this, and do not be afraid to shake up your routine.

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