Same Distance, Very Different Run

What is your “go to” run? If you are a runner I know you have a few of them.  I have my “go to” 5 miles that usually run at a comfortable pace and finish right around 40 minutes.  I know every stop light sequence, hill and where to watch out for a raccoon or fox.  Then of course you have your long runs, I have an 8 and a 10 I alternate with as well.  Sadly, the area where I live has few hills, so when I want the challenge I drive to my parent’s house where the hills are never ending.

This Friday I was JONESING to run.  Unfortunately, it was already pitch black when I got off work so I had to opt for the hamster wheel.  I don’t know about you, but for me the treadmill is only used in moments of desperation.  So I hoped on and ran my 5 miles and jumped right off to check it off my to do list.

Treadmill vs. 20 Degree Road Run

Treadmill vs. 20 Degree Road Run

On Saturday morning I trained a client in my parent’s town and decided to go home for a run.  If only it had been warmer. It was 20 degrees with atleast 15 mph winds.  My lungs where burning and I have never felt so slow.  Nonetheless, I was sore on Sunday.  It was the first time in a while that I felt completely exerted after a run.  I just felt wiped out from the cold weather and hills.  A lot of people worry that running in very cold weather is harmful, but honestly I will take 20 degrees over 90 degrees any day.  It is important to take precautions when you run in below freezing temperatures.  You want to be sure to warm up, since your muscles will be cold.  In addition, wear layers. I always need to strip about 10 minutes in.  Just because you are not spewing sweat like you do on the treadmill doesn’t mean you are not losing moisture.  Intense respiration in the cold will cause you to lose more moisture than you realize.  So make sure you are hydrated!

Sunday My sore butt and hamstrings took me on my “go to” 5 miler around Reston/Herndon.  It was about 20 degrees warmer and it made a huge difference. It always amazes me how much your environment can change your run.  I ran 5 miles three days in a row and each experience was completely different.  Did you have a good run this weekend?