5 Spring Running Tips

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When you think about difficult running weather, what comes to mind? Apparently for me it’s Winter and Summer. I’ve written several posts on that subject. What I’ve never written about? Spring running tips! Spring may be lovely, but it roars in with its own set of challenges.

I know, I know — we’re almost in summer. But some of you are still dealing with cooler temps — I hope you find something to help you here.

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Yup, this was Spring!

Wardrobe Amnesia
I still sort of consider myself a new runner, and I’ve been running for 10 years. You would think I have dressing down pat, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong! Winter and Summer can have their own challenges when it comes to dressing, but for most of us it will either be warm or cold.

Spring can have all four seasons in one day.

What’s a weather weary runner to do? It’s all about the layers! Windbreakers, arm warmers, jackets or tops that zip and unzip — they’re all your friend. You’ll probably be freezing before you run, but you’ll warm up quickly and either need to unzip, tie something around your waist, or shed a layer if that’s a possibility.

Also remember you need to look at way more than the temperature. I see this again and again: but it’s 55F out! Is it cloudy? Is it windy? Is it humid? What’s the dew point? 55 can feel an awful lot like 45 — or 60!

Try to keep your core, your head, and your hands & feet warm — doing so will make you feel warmer overall.

Different runners have different tolerances for cold and heat. You need to know what’s comfortable for you, and don’t worry about those runners in the shorts over there (or the ones in sweatshirts).

April Showers
In almost 8 years of running half marathons, I have only run one in April. April can be nice, but there’s a reason they talk about April Showers. My half was called Mud & Chocolate, was outside of Seattle, and totally lived up to its name — but I knew that going in.

If you choose in the middle of Winter to sign up for an April race, don’t be surprised if it’s not warm. Obviously its location can make all the difference, but everywhere except the south the weather can be very dicey in April (and even in the South!).

If you do get caught in a rainy race or training run, a baseball cap with a long brim (or at the very least a baseball cap with a brim!) just might be your new best friend. Raincoats have a tendency to not actually be very breathable, causing you to feel like you’re running in a sauna — or be too breathable, not keeping you dry. Ponchos (or the ever popular garbage bag) may be better option.

And do not forget the lube! Friction + wet = a recipe for pain

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This was an April race. There was snow on the ground just a couple of days before. On this one I would have been better off without the vest, though (always so hard to decide)

Even Worse: Snow Showers!
Yup, Spring Blizzards are a real thing. Heck, three years ago I did a half in Maine on a May Saturday. It was unseasonably warm. As we drove home through New Hampshire & Vermont, there was snow.

Never, ever, ever trust the forecast. Two days before my half the high on race day was predicted to be 50F. The race started in the 60s with lots of sun. I had only brought one race outfit and I totally regretted that decision.

Blown Away
Spring has a tendency to be windy. If possible, plan your route so that you’re running with the wind on your way back, when you’re more likely to feel tired. Accept that you may (and probably should) run slower, because it’s tiring running into wind. Even better, deliberately slow your pace a little.

Don’t wear baggy clothes. You know those crazy Crossfit people who run with a parachute on their backs? Yeah, you don’t want your clothes to create a parachute (a parachute’s job is to slow you down, after all!).

Finally, the wind will make it seem colder than it actually is. Especially if you work up a sweat. Dress warmer than you might if it weren’t a windy day (and make sure that your layers aren’t baggy again!).

Hello Sunscreen, My Old Friend
After the gazillion layers of Winter, it’s easy to forget that you need to put on sunscreen again. Just one sunburn will probably remind you quickly. Do yourself a favor and put it on before you get dressed — this allows you to get at areas underneath your clothes without getting the sunscreen on your clothes.

Doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy. You can get burned on a cloudy day. Don’t forget the sunnies (sunglasses) either — again, even on a cloudy day. Sunglasses do more than just keep the sun out of your eyes; they help to protect them from foreign objects and just protect your vision in general. You will rarely find me without sunglasses on, no matter what the season is.

  • Is it still Spring-like in your neck of the woods?
  • Which season is the most challenging for you to dress for?
  • Do you actually wear sunscreen and/or sunglesses year round?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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19 thoughts on “5 Spring Running Tips

  1. I have the same weather as you.

    I’m pretty good in the spring. I know I have to be cold at first in order to be comfortable running. So those skirts come out no matter what.

    I think winter is the hardest. It is cold but you still sweat. I often overdress.

    I wear sunscreen only until I get my tan. That’s always in Fla. sunglasses all year. It is sunny all seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. which I how I originally got my tan. I do use sunscreen (in makeup) on my face all year (to prevent wrinkles) and wear a hat with a brim.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Spring and Fall running, I hate the extremes in the Winter and Summer. But it can definitely leave you guessing about what to wear. I’ve become a bit obsessive about checking the weather report before my run.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s been a cold, wet spring here although mostly not colder than high 30s lately. I’m sort of glad I haven’t done much running since finishing London a month! ago. Even my garbage bag in Tokyo could not keep me warm with all that cold rain. It was miserable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve had a pretty wonky Spring here – almost non existent. We keep going from pretty warm days right back to pretty cold days.

    Spring is really hard for me when it comes to running because of allergies, but once I get through the season things are much better! When dressing for Spring runs, I tend to overdress at first – it takes me a few runs to get it right!

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  5. The weather has been crazy here. Either it is raining every day or every other day. I am over it. My favorite season for running is fall. Most challenging season for me to dress is winter. I may have all of the necessary gear but still I struggle with the necessary layers. I only wear sunscreen during the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually find that summer can be more time consuming (but not usually hard to figure out what to wear) than winter: sunscreen. bug spray. braiding my hair. Making sure I have something to change into after I get all sweaty (if I’m not coming home right away).

      Winter is (usually) more clear cut.

      I don’t wear sunscreen on my body in Winter, but I still do put it on my face year round.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG, wardrobe amnesia is real! I have to remind myself that I will be too warm if I wear long sleeves. We’re about into summer weather here, including summer humidity. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We’re heading home from the beach as I type, and one of my friends just texted to say it would be 44° at home tomorrow morning. It was in the 90’s when we drove to the OBX on Thursday.

    Wardrobe amnesia is real! Every time we transition from one season to the next, I completely forget where my tank to short sleeves to long sleeve temperature thresholds are. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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