By now, I’m HOPING the two-plus feet of snow that my parents had in Wisconsin in mid-April has melted and that spring is firmly entrenched. However, with the weather we’ve been having, there could be a freak snow storm yet to come . . . or almost worse than that, we may go from winter directly into summer, skipping spring altogether (or maybe just enjoying a week of it).
Spring is an important season for runners. It helps our bodies adjust to the coming warmer temps. Moving from the deep freeze of winters, into the mid-range temps of spring, before our bodies have to deal with the heat of summer is a great for runners, allowing our bodies time to adjust. However, I’ve got a bad feeling that many of us are going to go from running in the 20s one week to running in the 50s or 60s the next . . . basically seeing a 30-40 degree jump.
So, what does that mean for runners? We have to be patient with our training. When we find ourselves suddenly running in temperatures 30 to 40 degrees warmer than what we’ve been running in for months, adjust! In addition to cutting back on the layers (significantly), you’re also going to need more water, you’re going to tire more quickly, your pace may actually be faster early on (cuz it doesn’t take as long to warm up muscles), but you’ll also likely have a few really not very pretty runs. Expect it. It’s okay. Allow yourself a week to 10 days to adjust to temps that jump up quickly. In other words, don’t beat yourself up over a few bad runs and don’t “push” yourself to finish a run when your body is struggling to regulate itself.
Another key, as I mentioned, is needing more water – and I would recommend electrolytes (some kind of sports drink). Although it’s not quite the same thing, but if the temp jumps 40 degrees (20 to 60) it may not seem that horrible, but imagine if the jump was 50 to 90? What I’m trying to say here is, 40 degrees is a big jump – respect it. Thirty degrees can be pretty demanding too, so as always, remember to respect “Mother Nature.” : )
One other thing that is important to get ready for – allergy season. It could very well be delayed this year, so if you haven’t started getting ready for it already, do so. There’s a good chance that when winter finally does depart, spring (and the pollen and other allergens) is going to hit hard — VERY hard — as everything is going to be coming into bloom, and if you have a lot of snow melt, you could be dealing with molds too. I know my wife, who has a lot of allergies, starts weeks ahead of time taking allergy medication to be ready for when it hits (and it has hit down in Southwest Missouri). I believe she takes the generic Zyrtec daily and it really helps to keep her lungs clear (which is pretty important for runners). : )
Well, hopefully spring is here (or almost here) for all of the U.S., but if not . . . well, I hear that snowshoe running is pretty popular in some places . . . but I’m not wishing that on anyone, especially not in May!! : )
Have an awesome run today!
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