Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold?

By Mark | After doing this @Marathoner stuff for nearly a decade, I decided to list as many pros as I could for running in the most extreme heat and the most extreme cold.
I like to run in both, and I know Rachel tackles them both as well. Every time I run -- such as today's brutally hot 4-miler on a trail along the Hudson River -- I come up with additions to this. Here's what I've got, with "Hot" leading just slightly (it has a calendar advantage right now). Please add your pros in the comments!


The freedom of lightweight clothing and speed.

Gels (in my case GU) keep their viscosity.

Safe footing that you can see, so no risk of falls and lower-leg injuries.

You look sexy, as opposed to the cold category.

Central Park water fountains are turned on so you can run hands-free then.

Always other runners around so you are inspired with company.

More road side surface to run on, as snowplowed shoulders deter cold runs.

Training for a marathon or half is just easier with steady scheduling.

Precipitation in summer (rain) is easier to run in than precip in winter (snow/ice).

There is more sun and everyone loves more sunshine.

No temptation to use the dreadmill.

You get to run through sprinklers, just like a kid. Can’t do that in the snow.

You can run on the beach. The ocean is there. It is paradise.

No bag check at that hottest race of the year! That means more sleep.

Trails are shaded so it keeps you cool.  No leaves in the winter.

The “Summer Wind” that Sinatra sang about is easier to handle. Not wind chill.

You know when a snot rocket has properly cleared your nose. No idea in January.

Much more variety of courses, as cold routes are more limited.

Stretching is easier, again because less constrictive clothing.

Cold muscles can’t perform at the same level as a muscle that is warm.

Summer Olympics have running events, not Winter Olympics. Inspiration there.


No Air Quality Alert advisories on your app. Pollen zero.

Wear whatever colors you want. Can’t wear dark colors on that hottest day.

No swarms of gnats to inhale in on your trail, and no bugs at all.

Hands-free without carrying water.

Run any time of day, as opposed to 4 or 5 am wakeups to beat the heat.

You don’t have to slow down as often.

You are so #beastmode tough out there by yourself. And no Instagram competition.

You can post one of those awesome pics of icicles forming on facial hair.

You’re not ready to pass out from heat stroke. Dehydration never a real concern.

You get to wear cool gear like ASICS Storm Shelter, including stuff that holds your mobile phone.

Yaktrax and Thorlos.

No heat cramps caused by fluid and electrolyte loss.

I wear Breathe-Right strips when I run, and super-hot humidity runs make them peel off.

Running while the snow is falling is a beautiful silence and serenity.

It's more fun to do gear reviews. There is more to write about!

A post-run bath or shower feels better than it does after running in the hottest weather.

The best food of the year is offset by a great run during the holidays.

Earbuds are less squishy with less ear sweat and water dumped over your head. You hear holiday music.

Please add your own hot-or-cold pros to the list in the comments! Yes, most probably would say it's better to run in spring or fall, but this is strictly about extreme hot or cold.


Sven Gustafson said...

Easier to breath in the cold (air is much less humid and thick).

Layering smartly means you can be comfortable even on the coldest of days. Not true in August.

Cold weather makes it that much more inviting to wear knee-high compression socks.

#frozenface selfies.

-- I come down firmly on the Extreme Cold side.

Mark Newman said...

Great list, Sven! I thought about the matter of compression sleeves/socks. I was torn on which side it benefited, ultimately thinking that I'm a little lighter not wearing them as much during the hot months. I'm glad to see someone else sees this as NOT a slam-dunk for HOT...in fact you were on the COLD side, very interesting! That's beastmode