When we think of spring, we usually think of blooming flowers, birds chirping and crisp, sunny weather, which gets us itching to take our workouts outdoors. In actuality, Spring is often full of unpredictable, and not always pleasant weather. While one day may be full of gorgeous spring sunshine, the next may bring a bout of rain, or even a few dumps of snow. Don’t let that keep in your indoors, however. With a little prep and planning, you’ll be ready to run no matter what the weatherman says.
Lighten your layers.
Layers are essential for outdoor runs, and in spring you can switch to lighter jackets and hoodies, or even just an extra long sleeved tee. Make sure your layers are waterproof for those April showers, and you may even want to consider waterproof pants as well, which will completely protect you from the elements without weighing you down with heavy winter outerwear.
Check the weather before you set out, and consider having separate bags or designated gear depending on the forecast. Take extra layers with you, or leave backup tops and pants in your car so if you are forgetful. Also consider having extra socks if puddles soak the ones you’re wearing, and no matter what is, or isn’t falling from the sky, pack a bottle of water and a healthy snack for pre- or post- workout fuel.
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Brad is a USA Track and Field certified coach who specializes in teaching first timers how to run. You can find his free running program, as well as articles on health and fitness at his website, www.bradgansberg.com.
New runners have so much to learn. When I started back in 2004, I made every mistake in the book. I had no idea what I was doing so the process of learning to run was much harder than it needed to be.
Over the years, I have learned many things that would have been helpful to understand when I was first getting started. While I cannot turn back time and help my 2004 self, perhaps I can offer you a few ideas to help smooth the path as you first learn how to run.
1. Buy new sneakers.
Running sneakers have a limited life. Don’t even think about using the old pair in your closet. Go to a running store, ask their advice, and buy what they suggest. You have no idea how important it is to have a new pair of running sneakers that are properly fit to your foot and running style. Using an old pair is just asking to hurt.
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“Don’t. Even. Say. It.” That’s my response to the weather man’s reference to winter being just around the corner.
Living in a climate that embraces all the seasons can be challenging for a runner. However, for me, there’s no season worse for running than winter. I loathe the cold winds, the freezing temps, and the icy roads. But, I hate the treadmill more and I simply can not fathom giving up this sport just because the weather has turned foul. After years of frost bite, icy eyelashes, and chills, I have found a few tricks to take on mother nature and continue running through the winter.
If I can impart one tip to a runner in the cold, this is the most important one: Wear mittens. Be sure you read that right, I said mittens, not gloves, mittens. Gloves are great and I have several pairs. I use them in the cool seasons. But when the temps are below freezing, mittens are the best way to keep those digits warm. Technically, mittens have a higher thermal efficiency than gloves. I don’t operate in the technical world too well. All I know is that after years of pain, as my hands would start to go numb and my run was consumed with the pain, I tried a pair of mittens and my hands actually got sweaty they were so warm. Make sure to get them early, because stores sell out fast. You can thank me later.
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