No Excuses Here: How To Actually Commit To That Run In Every Type Of Weather
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At my former gym, there was a sign on the wall that read, “Motivation gets you started, routine keeps you coming back”. I was never really a fan of being inside gyms, but I think about that sign a lot.
Over the past few years, I have gone from being someone who thought they just weren’t cut out for exercise, to a person who does it every damn day. What changed things for me was making exercise my new normal, something as much a part of my morning ritual as my coffee and Instagram scroll. I never debate doing it, I just get up and go – even if it’s raining. Even if I have my period. Even if I stayed up too late watching Drag Race the night before.
Routine, it turns out, was what kept me coming back.
Even on those less-than-perfect days, routine is what will keep you coming back, too. With the right know-how and a little prior planning, a small inconvenience like weather doesn’t have to put you out of action. Whether it’s hot, cold or wet, here’s how you can still get out and nail that run.
They say timing is everything. It was true of Jim and Pam’s relationship on The Office and it’s sure as hell true of running in summer. Sure, it might get to 30 degrees in the middle of the day, but it won’t be anywhere near that at 6am (at least, not most of the time). Running early in the morning when temperatures are milder is your best bet, but an after-dinner jog, when the sun’s mostly sunk below the horizon, can also do the job.
Naturally, the reverse is true for winter – this is the time to find out whether lunch break jogs are for you.
Go For A Goal
There’s something oh-so-satisfying about setting yourself a goal and reaching it. Nike’s Go More, Get More Running Challenge suggests giving yourself a distance target – 20km is a good one — which you can chip away at day by day. If you’ve got a figure you’re working towards, you’ll be way more motivated to get up and go — rain, hail, or shine.
Get Hot, Baby
Bit nippy out there? Try and warm up before you go — do a few sit-ups and push-ups in your house to help prepare you for those first strides outside.
Choose Your Route
A little planning goes a long way. If it’s cold? Try to plan a route that will allow you to drop excess layers off after you warm up, or bring a top you can tie around your waist after the first lap.
If it’s hot? Ditch the footpaths and run in a park or on a trail where trees will offer shade and keep you cooler. Parks also have the advantage of coming equipped with water fountains, which is good, because you’re going to want to stay hydrated.
Try to build your route around access to water, either by passing bubblers or jogging somewhere you can stash your water bottle for a quick gulp between laps. And if you plan things so your run ends at that cafe with the perfect croissants, so be it.
Let Yourself Acclimatise
Fun fact: your body needs eight to 14 days to acclimatise to warm weather. If you’re kickstarting your new life as a runner in the middle of summer (go you!), like the folks currently tackling Nike’s Go More, Get More Running Challenge, you’ll want to start slow and build the length of your runs up so that your body has time to adjust as you go.
Another easy hack for running on hot days? “Pre-cool” your body temperature by chewing on some ice cubes or drinking a sports drink slushie before you go (yep, drinking slushies really can be a responsible adult thing to do). That’ll give you more time to run before feeling too hot and it’s a tactic marathon runners swear by.
Super hot? Super wet? It’s time to channel Kylie Minogue circa 2003 and go slow. Your body won’t be able to move as fast in the heat and that’s okay – don’t expect to match the same pace you would on moderate days. It’s also a good idea to build walk breaks into your run to help you cool down in the heat.
When it’s wet, a slower pace will help you pay attention to where you’re putting your feet – which means less chance of a faceplant. The rain also provides a natural resistance, meaning that even if you’re running slower, your body is still probably working just as hard. This is the time to focus on your endurance, not your speed.
Know When To Go Inside
Is it hailing? Thunderstorms? The Day After Tomorrow out there? There’s no shame in trading your outdoor run for a stint on the treadmill when it’s wild outside. It doesn’t matter where you do it, all that matters is that you do it.
(Lead image courtesy of Nike)
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