Hot vs Cold

Living in the Midwest, especially in Iowa, we get our fair share of weather. From heat and humidity pushing the triple digits, to air temps as cold as -12 (without windchill) we get the wide range of weather.

So what’s best for running? More accurately, which extreme is best for running? We all know that most runners see their best runs and times in temps of about 40-50 degrees. But in terms of training, which would you rather run in?

Hot weather is brutal, and of course can be dangerous if correct precautions are not taken. In the heat, we lose a ton of water, so hydrating before, during, and after a run is a must. The sun itself can be dangerous, and many runners will utilize suntan lotion (I don’t…but probably should) to prevent any burns or worse.

But running the heat and humidity can have some great payoffs as well. Obviously, running in the heat forces our body to use energy to cool us down. After months of running in hot weather, the transition to cool weather is a welcome change, as our bodies have built up energy which can be focused on running, instead of cooling.

Running in the winter is completely different. The cold is dangerous in a different way, especially if runners don’t wear enough clothes. Longer runs become more of a struggle due to the extra weight, and cold air on the lungs. Runners also sweat about the same amount, but maybe don’t realize it as much as it is much less visible.

On the same token, while unpleasant, there really isn’t a “too cold” temperature to go run, while I would say there is a “too hot.”

In my opinion, the biggest con to winter running is all the gear. It just takes so much longer to get ready, physically and mentally, for those cold weather days. It also seems to me that you don’t get as many benefits to winter running (like the aforementioned heat to cold) as you do in the heat.

While it might be slightly more pleasant running in the winter (not fun…just a little better), I think I would take the heat. One because, it’s just more pleasant when not running, plus you feel like a beast when the fall rolls around.

Run: Two-a-days are normally a struggle. Of course, they’re meant to be. Doing a stair workout on the second half of a two-a-day in 90+ degree heat and humidity was an absolute beast. Even without those factors, 1,035 stairs up would be brutal. But as one of my friends said “One step closer to Boston.” I sure hope so. Trails tonight.

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