Spring has sprung, and runners everywhere are rejoicing — and we’re starting to get our tan lines back. After being cooped up — or trying to run despite the elements — the hint of warmth, green and daylight are just a few of the reasons running in the spring is so great. Let us count the ways …
1. IT’S FINALLY WARM! BUT IT’S NOT TOO WARM
Call it obvious, but there’s something so wonderful about the glow of sunlight hitting your face for the first time in what feels like months. Enjoy it. Savor it. For now, you can do speed-work and hard runs to set new PRs. A study found that air temperature is the most important factor influencing running performance: too cold and you slow down, too hot and you slow down. It’s likely that spring temperatures might be just right. Studies have shown the best temperature to set a marathon PR is right around 43–44℉ — and that’s a pretty common springtime temperature.
2. APRIL SHOWERS MAKE FOR FUN PUDDLES
A little rain before, during or after your run is to be expected. Instead of dreading it, play like a little kid in puddles and revive the idea of recess. There’s even a National Institute for Play devoted to studying just how important it is to inject a bit of fun, unencumbered playtime into the day. Jumping in puddles helps relive those joyful, childhood moments. The next time you see a puddle, channel your inner-kid and blast right through it laughing like a loon the whole way.
3. YOU CAN USE ALL OF YOUR RUN GEAR
The temperature can vacillate so much in the early spring months that you can go through your entire running wardrobe in a few days. One day you’ll be in shorts, and the next, you’ll be bundled up in tights. Use this interim season to mix and match in all sorts of fun ways — or employ your mid-weight clothes (like capris and light, long-sleeve T-shirts) that likely get ignored most of the year.
4. YOU’LL FINALLY GET VITAMIN D
If you’ve been trapped inside for most of winter, these first times outside feel like a total transformation. That’s because your mind and body are transforming. You’re finally taking in a dose of vitamin D from the sun, which benefits your bones and muscles, but also has recently been linked to reducing occurrences of respiratory illness like colds and flus. On the mental wellness side, studies have shown that being outdoors in nature could prevent and reduce depression, so your sunny disposition could really be a result of sunshine!
5. WHAT’S OLD SEEMS NEW AGAIN
Revisit formerly snow-covered routes, and check out how the trails have transformed since the winter — notice the green buds cropping up, or the overall cheerier landscape. If you live in a seriously snowy area, you now have the chance to get back on your favorite summer trails.
6. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPRING CLEANING
Use the change of seasons to go through your old running gear, unpack your summer wardrobe and get rid of any worn-out or ill-fitting gear from the last year. Don’t limit this clean-out to just gear: Use this as a chance to revisit New Year’s resolutions that may have fallen by the wayside, or revamp your training plan and sign up for a fun-sounding new race this summer for a bit of motivation.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT RUN