Taking advantage of unseasonable weather

We’ve definitely talked in the past about beating the winter training blues, but for a lot of our readers, this is turning out to be anything but the average winter. From generally warm temperatures in some areas to oddball beautiful days in others, this season is throwing a lot of us for a loop.

But how to make sure we’re getting the most out of the goofy weather, soaking up some fresh air and natural light while it’s available? Here are five ways to do just that.

Go hiking. It might still be wet and sloppy enough that you aren’t quite comfortable going for a proper run, but by all means get out there for a walk in nature if you can. You’ll be amazed at the mental boost it can give you, especially if you’ve been mostly hunkered down indoors lately.

Play a sport. Unless you’re in an organized league or have a regular game with friends, chances are that you’re not out there playing anything quite like you used to. An unusual sunny day can be a great excuse to get people moving and pull together a quick pick-up game on the soccer field or basketball courts. If all you do is grab a Frisbee to toss around, it’ll still do everyone some good to get out running around a little.

Ride your bike. Bikes tend to get dusty in the winter. Not only is this bad for bike-lovers, it’s bad for the bike itself. If you catch a safe day to ride, consider taking a two-wheeled spin, even if it’s just around the block or up the street. It’ll be a nice change-up in your training routine and also help you avoid bulgy tires and brittle brake lines.

Explore a deserted locale. The funny thing about being a runner is that when it’s 40 degrees instead of 30, you feel like it’s Spring Break outside, often dressing accordingly. Well the rest of the world probably still thinks it’s way to cold to be out playing around, so that means a lot of prime workout spots will be pretty much vacant. We’re talking about running tracks, outdoor recreation areas, and even playgrounds and jungle gyms (great for doing some circuit work like monkey bar pull-ups and incline pushups). Enjoy the space while you can!

Go for a run. Simple, yes, but so easy to forget! Lousy weather forces us inside, but when it clears up for a day or two, we forget to go back out. It’s how you end up at the gym watching a whole line of runners looking at a sunny day through a big window from their treadmills. If you can run outside, go for it. Don’t just lock yourself into the routine of going right for a treadmill or indoor track just because it isn’t Spring yet.

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