Running in the winter mornings: with sunlight and cold temperatures!
So, for those of you who are “hard core” enough to go running first thing in the morning, you must be rejoicing with me that it is now light enough to see the ground when you go running before work, right?
I found myself jumping out of bed at the first sign of light yesterday to take Oliver on a quick neighborhood run before work. It was so glorious to start running and finish running in daylight.
Just last Friday I found myself meeting some girlfriends to go running in the early morning, and was somewhat astonished to discover that the entire run was cloaked in darkness. There was definitely something fun about it, especially because these ladies totally pushed me to my limit running at a quick pace, talking the whole way and loving every minute of it. I think Oliver was even a bit tired when we were finished!
While the sunlight definitely makes running in the morning easier, the cold temperatures that come with autumn/winter are a bit of a challenge. I think most of our natural tendencies are to stay home, curl up with a book, a cup of tea and enjoy the warmth of the season…
But aren’t we lucky, those of us who can recognize the joy of being able to stand outside, post-run, in our most-fashionable tights, stretching away and steaming up the air, even though it might be freezing outside? And what’s more fun than being able to clear your sinuses after a good, hearty running workout? Winter running also has the ability to help us stay trim and healthy all winter long, despite the food-heavy and sometimes stressful holidays.
As Danny and Katherine discuss in the ChiRunning book, there are enormous benefits to transitioning into and out of a running workout. I believe that the cold weather helps nurture appropriate transitions for runners: the cold might make us “pause” before heading outdoors (and therefor further reinforcing our desire/need to go running) and the necessary-post run stretch, which is (in my opinion) essential after running in the cold, the winter is a great time to take advantage of the pre and post-run times.
So, here’s to all of us who can understand why getting up to go running at dawn in the freezing weather is worth it…
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