I Like to run in the cold
While I’m not a big fan of being cold, there are some things I really like about running in the cold.
There are a lot fewer people around
With the COVID-19 lockdown there are a few rules we have to follow.
If you are within six feet of another person both of you are supposed to wear a mask. Even if you are outside.
During the summer our parks were very busy when they weren’t closed.
And neighborhood sidewalks were busy with dog walkers and people out with their kids.
Everyone was tired of being cooped up and wanted to get outside.
For most of the Summer and into Fall I had to wear a mask almost the entire time I was out for a run.
People seemed to be everywhere!
As the temperatures cooled I saw fewer people in the parks and on the sidewalks.
With fewer people out and about I didn’t have to wear my mask for the entire run.
Now that it is winter I like to run in the cold because I have the streets to myself for the most part.
I like to run in a mask
Most runners who run year-round have used a mask at one time or another.
It’s how we persevere in tough conditions.
Here in New England it’s hard to avoid running at least a few sub-zero days.
Before COVID, most of us only wore a mask when it was really cold. And most of us never really figured it out. Especially those of us who wear glasses.
Now that I have been running in a mask for almost a year, I know how to make them work. For the most part.
And once you figure out how to deal with your glasses fogging up it’s not so bad.
In fact, wearing a mask all the time helps eliminate the “It’s too cold to run” excuse.
My nose and face don’t freeze and the air going into my lungs doesn’t seem as cold either.
So running in a mask actually makes winter running more comfortable.
I like to run with pockets
Most runners need to carry a few things with them.
This usually includes a house or car key and usually a phone.
Many runners use their phone to track their run and for music or podcasts.
For longer runs, most runners will carry a gel and something to drink.
I always run with a key and usually my phone and some cash. You never know when you might need a bottle of water or even a bite to eat.
In the summer time I often use a running belt since most running shorts have only one tiny pocket.
But when it’s cold out I often wear a running vest or a jacket.
In addition to keeping me warm all those pockets are a great place to stash a phone, keys and anything else I want!
I like to run in the dark
It’s cool to run in the dark
In the summer when you run after dark you avoid the intense summer sun and the heat.
Even when it’s cloudy, UV rays can still damage your skin. Runners spend a lot of time outside, so it’s important that we pay attention to our exposure.
If it’s really hot or you are on a long run you could also experience heat stroke. Heat stroke is nothing to fool with and it can kill you.
In July and August I often wait until after dinner to go for a run. In the middle of the summer sometimes even the setting sun cannot break the heat.
Of course, people need to be aware of their surroundings and possibly not run in the same areas they might during the day.
I like to run in the dark to avoid the summer heat and experience the peace and quiet of the evening.
There is something about the warm summer air in the evening.
I like to avoid the crowds
Avoiding crowds seems to be the best way to avoid contracting COVID. Mask or not.
All businesses are required to keep the number of people in the office or dining room to 25% of capacity.
All mass gathering events such as concerts and ball games have been cancelled or played without anyone in the stands.
I like to run after dark to avoid close encounters.
Only in a park in the summer time would I see a crowd. But I have close encounters on the sidewalk all the time.
Some people are good with their mask but some people don’t even have one.
So to avoid the all to frequent encounters, I like to run at night and avoid the crowds.
I like to run in the morning
Running at night is great, especially in the summer.
But running in the morning has it’s own advantages.
Just like evening running, morning running let’s you avoid the mid-day summer heat.
And the crisp air lets you know you’re alive.
Run towards the light
One advantage of morning versus evening running is light.
It seems that it’s easier for cars to see you in the light than it is in the dark with flashing lights and reflectors.
I’ve had more close encounters at night even when I’m lit up like a Christmas tree.
Maybe drivers don’t expect to see people out at night?
Down for the count
I’ve seen plenty of people fall during a run. I’ve done it a few times my self.
Most of these falls have been in the evening or at night.
And many of these falls have been on familiar roads or sidewalks.
As the shadows get longer, dips and heaves in the pavement become harder to see.
Also, the light from approaching cars can turn a sidewalk into a black abyss. In these situations you have to be very careful.
It’s very easy to step into a hole and wrench your back or twist your knee. And the sidewalk just has a way of reaching up out of the dark and taking you down.
When you go out for a morning run the light continues to improve. And this improving light makes it less likely that you will go down for the count.
We get more done before 9AM
Years ago The Marines used to run an add. The tag line was “We get more done before 9AM than most people get done all day”. I may not have the quote exact and it may have been The Army.
But when you go for a run in the morning all day you have the feeling that you got something really big done. It’s just this nice feeling of accomplishment that lingers and sometimes I forget why I feel so accomplished.
It’s easy to forget that you ran when you do it all the time. But that nice feeling can last all day.
When I don’t like to run
I guess I can find a good reason to run just about any time of day and in any conditions.
The only conditions I don’t like are in the cold and wet.
I can run in the snow and manage to stay comfortable. I can run in the heat and avoid dehydration.
When it’s cold and raining eventually you become miserable.
The 2018 Boston Marathon comes to mind!
Over time, the rain always seeps through whatever you are wearing. And when that cold gets to your skin it always sucks the heat out of your body and makes you miserable.
If you are in these conditions long enough you will suffer hypothermia. I’ve seen it happen.
I don’t know anyone who likes to be cold and wet.
I can deal with one or the other, but not both.
What is your favorite and least favorite condition to run in? Are you a morning or evening runner?
Run well my Friends,