It is getting closer to the end of Winter. The days are starting to get longer, and it is only a short time before the weather starts to get warmer. Depending on where you are in the world you might even be seeing the first signs of Spring already with flowers trying to push their way forward. This is the time of year runners look forward to. The treacherous weather starts to leave and running outside becomes pleasant again. The birds are starting to sing, and it is not too hot, or too cold. Before you drop your Winter jacket and run outside here are a few things to consider.
Don’t Rush your Running Progress
Most runners spend at least a little less time running during the Winter. The weather is worse, the days are shorter, there are the holidays, and we are just programmed to want to cozy and be comfortable during this time of the year. If this isn’t you than good job! But for most of us we will have at least cut back a bit on our mileage and had rest days (or storm days) more often. When starting back into running in the spring it is important not to jump right back to where you were in the fall. This is not good for your body and will increase the likelihood of being injured, which just defeats the whole point. If you are going to miss out on running don’t do it while the flowers are first coming into full bloom. Start with a distance and pace that you know your body is easily comfortable with, and then increase from there a little bit each week. A good rule of thumb is to increase your distance by about 5-10% each week until you are back to where you were running before the cold weather limited you.
Set Running Goals
This is a great time of year to set new running goals. With the weather warming up, and nature waking up, it feels like everything is being given a fresh start. Get a feel for how your body is working this Spring and lay out some goals based on that. This is also a great time to start looking into races, and marathons that will be going on through the year and planning a training routine for some of these.
Replace Old Running Shoes and Gear
They say that Spring is the time of year for cleaning, and this can also apply to your running gear. This is a great time to take stock of what you have, and check on how everything is holding up. Check your protein and running gels and make sure they have not reached expirery. Go through your wardrobe and get rid of shirts and other cloths that are worn out or stained. The same can go for running shoes which should really be replaced every 500 miles. This is a great time to go and pick out a few new accessories to get you excited and back into the running spirit. A couple new shirts, a spring running jacket, or even something fancy like a pair of digital running shoes that have a fitness tracker.
Be Ready for Spring Weather
Since we are on the topic of looking into your wardrobe it is a good idea to remember that Spring weather is often unpredictable and quick to change. Make sure that you are prepared for a variety of conditions. With some long running pants, and warm hat and gloves, but also some lighter clothes for the wonderful Spring thaw days. And a good waterproof jacket that you can run in and stay dry without getting too warm.