Friday, October 2, 2009

Running cold is no sweat

During Wednesday's run I noticed a chill in the air but even with a short sleeved jersey and running shorts I was comfortable. I ran my distance and worked up a decent sweat. Yesterday the weather was even colder during the day and as I prepared my gear for this morning's run I included a pair of compression shorts and a long sleeved technical jersey. That was a smart move because when I stepped outside the temperature was 39 degrees. I know that by December my sense of what's cold will differ. Right now 39 degrees is darn cold. After wasting a couple of minutes waiting in vain for my iPhone to acquire a GPS signal I hit the start button on my Garmin and set off on my run.

Now the great thing about running in the cold is that it motivates you to work harder so that you'll warm up faster. Usually, in the summer, I would start to noticeably sweat around the one mile mark. On humid days that would happen sooner. This morning I completed 2.4 miles in a little over 21 minutes and returned home barely sweating. I felt strong and energized and regretted my time constraint because I would have preferred to cover much more distance. It made me wonder how a run like that compared to Tuesday's when the temperature was closer to 60 and I finished hot and perspiring. Do two runs, of approximately similar lengths and finish times, require the same effort if one run leaves you damp as a wet noodle and the other leaves you wanting more? It seems like when you push so hard that there's nothing left at the end it means you've engaged in a higher level of work. But if the numbers don't show a difference then perhaps it's really the same work being done. If that's the case I'll take 39 degrees anytime.

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