Many of us are now in the time of year where the colder weather is approaching as fast as the dark evening hours, and the beginning of winter is issuing a challenge to runners everywhere to find the time and the motivation to get out and run.
Gone are the summer days when you arrived home from work and had time to dally around the house or putter in the back yard while you waited for the temperature to drop to a more manageable 65 degrees. Remember those days? Remember coming home from the office and seeing countless other runners and cyclists out enjoying the summer evening? You couldn’t wait to join them, in fact you were even a little annoyed that they had already been off work long enough to have started their evening runs. Don’t these people have jobs? Are they all government employees or do they all just happen to work banker’s hours? They had some nerve to be home at this early hour, enjoying the summer evening before you were. Those were the days. It was so much easier to motivate yourself to run during those summer months, but fear not because this column is chock full of advice and inspiration to help you get out and run on these cold, dark nights.
The obvious solution might be to just go run in the morning. But, I’m not much of a morning person so running before work doesn’t appeal to me, though the end of daylight savings time makes it a little easier. If you were to list the pros and cons of running first thing in the morning you’d find there are a lot of pros, like more time to watch your favorite shows in the evenings and not having to say no to your coworkers who are going out for drinks after work and more quality time with your family. The only con is getting up early, and even though it’s not so bad once you’re out of bed, that’s still one really big con. So here’s some motivation to help you run on those cold, dark nights.
Running when it’s cold and dark makes you the kind of hardcore runner that Pearl Izumi endorses. It’s a great feeling to be the only one who’s dedicated enough to be out running in the cold of night. Sure some people might replace the word ‘dedicated’ with words like ‘crazy’ or ‘senseless’ but those people aren’t runners, so who cares what they think.
Nike, Under Armour and Adidas don’t make cold weather gear just for their own good. OK, I guess they kind of do, but what better excuse to buy some reflective cold weather gear than to run during the frosty winter nights?
Leave work early. You still want to run when it’s light out, but can’t do it in the mornings? That sounds to me like the perfect reason to leave work early. Tell your boss that I said it was OK, and if that doesn’t fly then try using the “everyone else is doing it” defense and point to all those runners you saw out running in the summer months.
Low risk of heat stroke and dehydration. Since you’re so cold, you won’t sweat as much and you’re less likely to overheat. I’m no scientist, but I think that makes it less likely that you’ll suffer from heat stroke or dehydration.
[Image credit: A Hermida]