I wrote/compiled a nice little article on trail running some time ago, and felt like adding some thoughts after today’s run. Today I was sitting in my office and was running out of steam, so I figured a quick little 6 mile run was just the thing to perk me up over lunch (which I never take anyway). I also read a great line on a blog post the other day “There is no such thing as bad weather just soft people” (letsrun.com) and it inspired me.
I’m glad to say that over the holidays I kept up my trail running every other day. My route took anywhere from an hour and half to two hours; but it was the first real military leave I’ve had in a year, so I spoiled myself. And then, after several weeks I went back to the Rockies from the sea level of Southern California.
January weather in Idaho is an odd thing; when the sun came out from behind the clouds I began sweating, and when it passed back behind the clouds I froze. The snow and ice on the trail were a beautiful thin shell to the mud, water and slush beneath; and I quickly soaked my feet. My lungs were burning from the acclimation to the altitude and mud peppered the pack of my sweat pants. My beanie was frosted over and my face was streaming sweat; Yep, a good run.
Maybe it’s just the underlying prepper in me; but those are the things that I love about out door, off the hard ball, running. When it is sunny you get dusty and gritty as your shoes periodically slip on the dry surface. When it is raining you get to slip and slide in the mud or plow through puddles. And when it is snowing you freeze as your sweat chills and your lungs burn.
Outside, unlike a treadmill, the weather impacts you full force. The ideal running temperature for all of us varies according to gender and climate acclimation; but most averages put the ideal running temperature at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Below is a helpful little chart from the running academy on how much temperature will impact running performance.
While not reflective in this chart, the trends are similar as temperature drops below the ideal running conditions.
I also love the fact that many running trails keep you going up and down hill. Now granted, this is not the type of training you want to be hitting if you are prepping for a good flat long distance race; but if you are looking on staying fit for a bug out, then enjoy the challenge.
While not ideal for the joints, try putting a 25 or 35 lb plate wrapped in t-shirts in a back pack and running with that. Find ways to adapt your fitness training to the possible demands of an emergency situation; because I guarantee you won’t have a nice indoor track and perfect temperature.
And if you want a real training evaluation/challenge, hit up the half marathon Spartan Beast; which I also wrote about my own experiences a while back. And if you never have to utilize your strength and training in a real world scenario at least you’ll look good; and when you’re old and your joints give out you can get a cool cane with a sword in it.