Tuesday, April 10, 2018

7 Reasons Spring Running Keeps You on Your Toes

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Ah, Spring! Always welcome after the bleak winter, spring is the reward for those of us who brave the cold and run outdoors.  There's so much to love about spring--the birds are singing, the landscape changes from gray to green, and the flowers start blooming. Spring is a time of renewal and often the warming temperatures are all a winter-weary runner needs to put some pep back into their step.

But...there's always a but...spring running is never predictable, presenting some interesting challenges for runners. After running outdoors all winter, you'd think you're prepared for everything, right? Until you're not...



The Weather
It always comes down to the weather, doesn't it? As this spring has proven, the birds might be singing and the trees might be blooming, but there still can be snow on the ground. Living in Chicago, we like to joke that if you don't like the weather, wait a minute because it will change. Maybe you head out for your long run in a couple of layers but find yourself peeling off those layers as the temperature increases 20, 30, even 40 degrees while you're out there!

I'm kind of at a loss here...

The Wind
With the change of season, all kinds of atmospheric things are going on and that means WIND. If it's a windy day, I check the direction of the wind and I head out into the wind, so that I have a tailwind pushing me home. Or you could always run on the treadmill...

Allergies
It may be brightening up, but that comes with a price. Those pretty trees and flowers release pollen and that can make it tough for those who are prone to allergy symptoms. Even if you're not, pollen can be irritating to your eyes and skin.


Sun
Sunburn and skin cancer is a reality for those of us who spend a lot of time outdoors. Make sure you use at least 30 SPF on all your exposed skin. For eye protection, I love Goodr sunglasses--the price is right, they're super light and come in a variety of colors.

Thanks to my friend Kristina for permission to use this awesome photo!

Crowded trails
All winter long, I've had the paths and parks to myself. Now that it's warming up, those fair weather runners are coming out. If you aren't a morning runner, you may find yourself sharing your path with families and little kids on bicycles. Note to self: run early in the day.

Dogs
There's always that one dog owner who thinks his dog will do just fine off leash. Whenever I encounter an unfriendly loose dog, I stop running and stand like a statue while the owner comes to retrieve him and make excuses. Because his dog "would never hurt you".

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Pace Yourself
It can be so tempting to run all the miles once it warms up. The rule of thumb is not to increase your distance by more than 10% per week. It's just a guideline, but it's probably wise not to go out and pile on the miles if you've been taking it easy all winter. Laura's post has some great tips to help runners ease back into running all the miles.

Spring is my favorite time of year to run! With longer days and improving weather, it really is the best time of year to be a runner!

When is your favorite time of year to run? I'm thinking that if winter ever leaves, we're going right to summer!

I'm linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run and Rachel, Lora, and Debbie for Coaches' Corner!








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49 comments :

  1. Spring is a great time to run unless it's this year when we've been robbed of spring weather so far. I'm am hopeful for the rest of the week though!

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    1. I'm so ready for warmth that I don't even care if we fast forward to summer!

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  2. Well so far this spring has not been my favorite time of year to run. It does feel like winter some days. Hopefully summer will be here soon! I'd rather run in the heat than the cold and wind any day.

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  3. The wind and allergies have been kicking my butt the past 2 weeks. Oh, and then there's the snow storm we had last Monday, lol.
    Fall is actually my favorite season for running. It always feels like such a reward after dealing with the heat and humidity of summer.

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    1. I like fall too, but I especially like spring because it's so nice to be free from the grip of winter!

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  4. Our Spring weather is so different it seems like we are worlds apart! I was sad I still didn't feel recovered enough to run this morning because it was cool and I don't want to miss a second of it lol

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    1. This weather is not normal for us either! It's been just crazy.

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  5. Dear God the allergies!!!! If I don't take allergy meds daily, I am in misery and end up with a sinus infection. Ugh! Spring (if it's mild), Fall and Winter are my favs to run. Here in the deep south it's always a hit and miss on what temps are in what months. We have short 'winters' or 'shorts' winters. You never can tell! Summer running is a must for me just to keep my mileage from going kaput but I literally have to be out the door at first light.

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    1. I don't know how much I'd love the relentless humidity y'all get down south but I am so over being cold!

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  6. Bring on spring!!!! I can't wait!

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  7. Fall is my favorite time to run, but Spring is a close second :) I do have allergy issues in the Spring so that's the only reason it's in second.

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    1. I can never pick which I like better, spring or fall!

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  8. We often do go straight from winter to summer. I do love spring running (assuming it arrives here sometime during the spring). Spring is just so hopeful.

    But the wind! Seriously, I don't remember it being so windy when we first moved up here. It seems like every year it gets worse & worse. I can deal with running in some pretty cold temps but not very cold & windy. Then I turn to the treadmill. :)

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    1. At this point, I'd be happy to go right to summer!

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  9. Fall is my favorite time of year - after the summer heat, it feels so blissful! I just wish there was more light. Spring is rough for me because a) I suck at winter training and b) allergies kill me.

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    1. Spring is tough for a lot of people! I just love the change of seasons, I guess...

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  10. Allergies have been kicking my butt too. It's also been difficult to train in the mornings because it's been cold. I love Fall in general, and I love fall races.

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    1. This season has really been a challenge for so many of us!

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  11. Yep the weather is definitely a big unknown this time of year! And I guess the only good thing about this cold spring is that my allergies havent started acting up yet!

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    1. Interestingly, I'm seeing patients with allergy symptoms in spite of the cold! Things are blooming, I guess!

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  12. I was just thinking about how all the bikers and kids on bikes will be coming back out the trail. Double edged sword spring temps are!

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    1. Definitely! Good thing I like those early morning runs.

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  13. Yes spring is my favorite season. I just hope we get spring this year. I am so tired of all these layers and the WIND!!! Enough already.

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    1. I keep thinking that once it warms up, it's going to be summer.

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  14. You probably know summer is my favorite time to run, but spring definitely ranks up there, too.

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  15. Great points! Winter is actually my favorite time to run, but this winter obviously was ridiculous! I really hate the crowds so that's what annoys me the most about the warmer running weather (terrible, I know).

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    1. I'm actually the same as you when it comes to running--I like solitude!

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  16. Haha yes to ALL of this. Typically I love spring running but this weather has been CRAZY!

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  17. I really, really, REALLY could go for spring right about now. WHEN DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?!?!?!

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    1. We're getting a taste of it but whomp whomp, its only for a few days. I don't get it.

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  18. I love fall for running! I want to be able to run in short and a tank. Today I did but also wore a long sleeve because all of a sudden it got hold.

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    1. Yep, we can't even get a fully warm day. What is happening?

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  19. Ugh. Allergies. Those have been running me ragged lately.

    We really only have one season here, but I prefer winter r(at least our winter). It's so much cooler and the humidity is so much more manageable than the rest of the year.

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    1. When I was in Florida last month, the weather was just perfect. People were complaining that it was too cool (70) but there was no humidity and it was amazing.

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  20. I just got my first pair of Goodr sunglasses! I mean, like today! Can't wait to try them out tomorrow. Basically my winter has felt like spring, so it's hard to choose. Now that it's actually spring the temps are heading toward 100 (even close to 80 early this morning!).

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    1. Right now, I'd take that heat. This spring has just been ridiculous.

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  21. The dogs! They're almost never on leashes on the trails here. They jump on me, run towards me barking, and one bit me 2 years ago. Every owner says, "don't worry, he's friendly..."

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  22. I would love spring more if not for the allergies! I'm kinda hoping they'll just not come back! (I don't remember anymore if they bothered me last year, but I may have blocked it out.) I can't wait to spend more time outside though!

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    1. I think we are in for a spectacular allergy season! It's finally warming up and here we go, the trees are a-popping!

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  23. I love spring running! As a matter of fact I just did a post about it too. :-)
    It bugs me when dogs are off leash, especially when my dog is leashed and another dog comes at her.

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  24. I think I like running in the fall the best (in the US) and winter (in Hong Kong), but really anytime is good for me ;)

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    1. I'm right there with you...any day I get to run is a good day!

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