I generally consider myself more of a sun-and-warmth person as opposed to a cold-and-snowy person. I really don’t dislike any seasons, in fact I like little things about them all, but there’s something that’s just so convenient about summer. It’s easier to dress for (sun dresses=one outfit wonder!), it’s easier to plan for, and it’s LIGHTER! I love the light, and the darkness of winter really starts to get to me after a while.
But, the one thing I love about the winter—besides Christmas and pea coats, of course—is THE RUNNING!
I adore running when it’s cold out, and I would choose running with tights and an ear warmer over running in a tank and spandos any day. I know there are a lot of differing opinions on this, and it’s not that I dislike running when it’s warm, there’s just something so satisfying about breaking the winter blues with some miles.
When I played soccer when I was younger, I remember preferring the games that were in the cold. Although I had to wear a turtleneck underneath my jersey and the sidelines were freezing, I can distinctly remember feeling faster and more agile when playing in the cold. This feeling is the same way I feel today about running in the cold—clearly something that never left!
Now, I know this isn’t science…according to the running scientists we run faster and more efficiently in cooler temperatures than warmer. And…duh. Keeping our internal temperature cooler helps elongate our exertion and not feel so drained from sweating (as much).
I definitely notice these effects of running when it’s cooler—but the reasons I love winter running have more to do with the overall package itself, as opposed to the physiology behind it.
With that, I give you…6 reasons why I’m PSYCHED for winter running.
1) Thumb holes. Just like nearly every other runner who doesn’t live in So.Cal or Florida…I’m a big fan of the thumb hole shirt revolution.
Just that little feature seems to add a whole new dimension of warmth—and I often can get away without gloves when I wear a thumbhole shirt. My favorite part, though, is actually when I can remove my thumbs from the loops and roll up the sleeves a bit. This part of a run always indicates that I’ve warmed up enough and gotten into a steady-enough rhythm. I love realizing that, and I love having a tangible indicator.
2) Speed. I notice a very distinct difference in my speed once the temperatures drop.
After I ran the Portland Marathon last year, took a few recovery weeks, and got back on the road again, I started realizing that my splits were dropping. I thought this might be a result of recovering and gaining strength from the marathon, but I’m pretty certain it had more to do with the fact that my training had all been done in the late summer, and I was now running in chillier November. Personally, I know I’m a faster runner when it’s a bit cooler—and I’m planning on focusing heavily on speed during the winter months (more on that in another post!).
3) Showers. I adore the feeling of a shower after a good run. In fact, I actually kind of dislike regular showers, because they aren’t as deliciously satisfying as those done post-run (don’t worry…I still take them…sometimes).
The best kind of showers, though, are the ones after a long, cold, run. I love feeling like I’m thawing out after being in the wind and the cold—it’s such a wonderful dichotomy of having experienced the chilly air and then plunging into a warm shower. I love it—this is perhaps one of my favorite things about running, besides the actually action itself 🙂
4) The quiet. This may all be in my head, but I always feel like winter mornings are so much more silent than the summer. You know?
Less birds chirping, less people around. Not that I dislike those things (obviously I like birds) but I l-o-v-e running when it feels completely quiet. No headphones, no traffic, no people. Just feet and breath (the cold air helps emphasize the breath part of this as well). I get the most jazzed and excited about a run when I walk out the door and I can’t hear a thing—quite contrary to a pump up song or war cry—I prefer the silence, which promises a peaceful, cathartic run with just my legs and my thoughts.
5) The oatmeal. You thought I was going to get all mystical for a minute there, didn’t you?
Much like the point about the hot showers—I LOVE a bowl of hot oatmeal after I run. Some people love waffles, some love mimosas, but I myself love nothing more than a huge bowl of oatmeal post-run, complete with all my staple fixings. However, when it’s warm out—hot food is the last thing I want, and for the past few months I’ve needed to reach for a less-than-thrilling smoothie or yogurt. Cold weather=more oatmeal=happy Robyn.
6) The laziness. Let’s get honest…the only thing most of us want to do after a long weekend run is lay on the couch all day.
The only movement we want to make is between the refrigerator and our cozy setup in front of the TV. Also, football season is during the winter—and I can’t speak for everyone on this—but sometimes I really just like hunkering down on a Sunday with BF to yell at the TV. The winter months cater to this type of behavior…whereas summer I don’t want to miss a minute of sunshine. So although typically I love to be out and about doing as much as possible, after a long run, give me my compression socks and my Snuggie. Actually…it’s not my Snuggie…you can guess who I steal it from, though.
So there you have it! A look at the main reasons I can’t wait to run this winter. I’m guessing it’s a little transparent that I’m also associating the winter with a healthy ankle…which I’ll admit, is helping the argument. But, overall, injury or no injury…I love winter running, and I can’t wait to break out my ear warmer and tights soon!
Now…which do you prefer, winter or summer running?