There is nothing more refreshing than the first time you see blue skies after what feels like an endless winter. Or returning from work to find the sun still shining and hours of daylight left in the day. Spring running season always feels like a fresh start after a seemingly endless winter. After months spent layering up and sliding around on the snow, it is so refreshing to shed those layers and run with ease.
While spring may not be here to stay just yet, it has definitely made a few appearances. Each time I head outside in my big poofy jacket only to find that I don’t need it I get a burst of optimism. When I find myself settling down for the night and see that the sun is still up, I am reminded of the joys that spring running season will bring.
Running throughout the year can be really tough. There are times when it feels like we are at a constant battle against the elements. Wind, ice, heat, snow, and rain make it nearly impossible to stay consistent with our training. After months of battling the elements, I am here to say that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.
In just a few short weeks, we will be right in the middle of spring running season. My anticipation for this change is at an all time high, helping recharge my current running motivation and helping me to stay motivated. With all of the approaching excitement, here are some spring running tips to help you make the most of the next season.
7 Ways to Bring Spring Running to the Next Level
- Set a goal. Spring and fall are the best times to work towards an ambitious goal because the weather is very moderate. The warmer temperatures and sunshine provide some much needed running motivation for runners after a long winter. Use the extra hours of daylight to stay motivated and work towards your goal. Now is the time to add in some speed work each week, or increase your weekend mileage. Take advantage of the fresh start this time of year! Learn how to set running goals that you’ll actually accomplish.
- Use the weather forecast to your advantage. There is nothing worse than getting excited about the warmer spring temperatures only to step outside the next day and find that winter weather has returned. Rather than counting on things remaining consistent, check the weather forecast for the upcoming week and use it to your advantage. Is there a burst of cold air returning mid-week? Plan your tempo miles for that day. Will it be windy or rainy on the weekend? Plan a relaxed, easy run. While the weather fluctuations may be frustrating, they will only make you stronger in the end.
- Break out the colorful gear. The most exciting part about spring running is being able to put away all the dark, drab looking winter clothes and break out the colorful spring patterns. Nothing lightens the mood more than bright colors and sunshine. Find some gear that you love to help increase your running motivation and excitement to get out the door.
- Log the miles you put on your shoes. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably checking the wear and tear on your shoes now as you prepare for a new training season after a long winter. Use this time to begin keeping track of how many miles you put on your shoes, so you know exactly when to cycle them out for new ones. Keeping your shoes fresh will help you stay injury free for life.
- Include a warm up and cool down. Now that the temperature has become a little more tolerable, take advantage of it by adding a warm up and cool down routine into your regular runs. Since we are no longer trying to minimize time outside in the freezing air, take your warm up moves outside with you. Enjoy the sunshine and extra daylight that spring running season has to offer.
- Take advantage of the daylight. Finally! Spring always feels like a breath of fresh air after a long hibernation. There is nothing more discouraging than planning to run after work and finding it already dark by the time you get home. Take advantage of the daylight to get in some extra spring running miles. Running in the mornings and evenings no longer means digging out your reflective clothing or lights to stay safe. Wanting to become a morning runner? Here’s what happened when I worked out at 4:30 am every day last spring.
- Add in some speed training and/or long runs. Now that the weather is more favorable, take advantage of your time spent outdoors. Since the increase in temperatures and sunshine often brings a fresh batch of running motivation, start challenging yourself each week. Add in a few speed workouts or interval runs, or increase the distance of your long run each weekend. Your time in the daylight is no longer limited – so take advantage of it!
These spring running tips are just the beginning – the start of a new season brings with it endless opportunities. Use the warmer weather and extra sunshine to stay motivated this season, and I bet you will surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish. Each season brings new challenges, so keep your running training motivation for life by taking advantage of the change.