I hate running in summer months. It’s hot, it’s humid, the air quality is crummy, there can be bugs, and I hate sweating.
That’s right, I said I hate sweating.
For someone who runs four days per week and cross-trains two days, I’m well aware that I’m voluntarily putting myself in the position to sweat a lot.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s so much better to run in the colder months:
- It’s easier to run – I don’t know about you, but I feel so much stronger when I run in cooler temps. The heat puts too much strain on my body… and believe it or not, it puts strain on YOUR body too. Have you ever wondered why most half and full marathons are held in the fall?… hello! That way you can (carefully) train all summer long, and absolutely kill your road race in the fall. Imagine how much faster you’ll go when the heat isn’t holding you back!
- It makes those holiday treats a little more guilt-free – Obviously you can’t pound an entire pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving without expecting to feel like crap. But you can afford to treat yourself to some extra mashed potatoes with gravy at dinner, or even an extra slice of pie (with whipped cream!), because you know you’re going to work it off… and because if you’re like me and ran a 5K earlier that morning, you’ve earned the calories and carbs already!
- It helps beat SAD – With colder months comes darkness… I struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) every year. According to Mayo Clinic, “[SAD] is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.” A doctor hasn’t officially diagnosed me with SAD, but the symptoms are there and I am very aware of them. Last winter, for the first time ever I maintained a fitness regimen and ran outdoors approximately once per week. I noticed that while I still felt low, it wasn’t as low as I’ve felt in the past.
- Holiday-themed races – Does it get any better than dressing up? NO, I think not. As I mentioned earlier this week, adults so seldom get the opportunity to play dress-up. Holiday-themed races are the BEST for this, and we happen to get to enjoy holiday races at least three months in a row! Wear an easy costume for a Halloween road race (Seriously, nothing too fussy that will be hard to run in! This year I will be testing my Kevin tutu to make sure I can run 13.1 mi in it for Disney in February). Get one of those goofy turkey hats for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Wear a Santa hat (or full suit!) for a holiday road race. SO. FUN.
- Bragging rights – Don’t you want to be known as that bad ass who ran oudoors all winter long? So many people retreat to treadmills or worse, to the couch, in the winter months. It’s so much fun to tell people, “YEAH, I ran a 5K last weekend in 5-degree weather with crazy negative wind chill, and lived to tell the tale!” The look of awe you’ll receive when casually discussing your bad-assness is totally worth the pain of running when it’s really cold. You’ve basically joined a group of the elite – there are only so many other people as crazy, brave, and dedicated as you are. Soak it up!
These are the five reasons I LOVE running in cooler months. Do you have anything to add to my list? I’d love to hear from you!
Please Note: I am not a professional athlete or a doctor – while I try to be honest with my content and do my research and due diligence, posts like this are meant to be fun and informative. However, I am not an authority on physical or mental health. PLEASE be careful when you run outdoors, no matter the time of year. Check the weather, and don’t run in unsafe conditions. Be sure to wear your lights and reflective gear. Pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you, and be sure to wear appropriate layers. If you have questions, please consult your physician.