© copyright 12.Dec.2007 by Dena Harris.
Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
Okay, so the above is the unofficial motto for the U.S. Postal Service. But it works as a runner's creed too. Bad weather is no excuse to roll over and go back to sleep. Keep in mind the runner's saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing." Prepare properly for inclement weather runs and who knows? You may discover you're more hardcore than you thought.
Windy runs are hard. You're using more energy and oxygen than you typically would expend. Slow down and don't worry about holding your regular pace. The benefits remain the same.
Tip: Try to run into the wind on your way out so you can have the wind at your back for an easier run home.
When it comes to wet weather running, fashion be damned. Do whatever works, keeping in mind that staying warm is more important than staying dry. Water-repellent tights are good for cold, rainy days. Hats with visors may keep some of the rain off your face. Avoid cotton at all costs! Cotton absorbs moisture and magnifies wind chill. Head out in the rain in a cotton shirt and you'll soon find yourself running with what feels like a 25-lb. bag of rocks on your back. Instead, look for technical garments that offer "wicking." Wicking moves moisture to the outside of the garment where it quickly dries or evaporates. And don't forget the runner's favorite: a plastic trash bag slipped over clothes works wonders.
Tip: To dry out soggy shoes, stuff them with newspaper overnight.
While it's tempting to smother yourself in clothes for a winter run, remember that your body heats up while running. Dress as if the outside temperature was 15-20 degrees warmer than what it actual is. Wear layers that may be stripped off. Bright colours or reflectors show up well against snow and will alert drivers to your presence. Sunglasses held reduce snow blindness.
Tip: Water isn't just for 90-degree heat. Continue to hydrate for winter runs.
Many runners find they like the challenge and stimulation of running in bad weather. Whether it's your cup of tea or not, don't let a stretch of bad weather derail your months of training.
Remember, if the postal service can do it, so can you.
Daily Runs is collection of motivational articles, tips & advice about the sport of running, written by authors who run for fun.
Writer and author Dena Harris ran her first marathon in 2007. After declaring at the finish line that she would "never, ever, do that again," she's continued to run at least two marathons a year and recently qualified to run Boston.
Visit www.denaharris.com for information on her writing, books, running, and cats.