Fitness · Just my Thoughts

The Problem with Spring Marathons

Okay, I know that is a catchy title but there is no real problem with spring marathons themselves. The problem is I live in Upstate NY and training is difficult. I do not like running inside. I will brave the temperatures and the winds and run outside if at all possible but there are some safety issues in getting in long runs during January and February mostly

What I am about to reveal may date me a bit. Back when I was in high school (no that is not the dating part), we had a week off in February to save energy (that is the dating part). There was a huge energy crisis so schools in New York State closed for a week in February. I am not talking just classes were not held. All events, sporting included, were not held. This was to save energy. You can imagine the weather we get if governmental officials thought this was a good idea.

So now off to my problem with spring marathons – training. I live where there are no sidewalks. I have to drive into town to get to sidewalks and, even then, they are not consistently on the edge of streets and roads. Since I live out of town center, I also live where roads, while having a yellow line down the middle, are barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass. Pile up snow on the non-existent shoulders and I am running in the lane with nowhere to go when traffic is coming.

I have some small rules and one generalization. First, the generalization – I tend to not drive to somewhere to run. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Now the rules. If the wind chill is in single digits, I do not go out. If there are plows on the roads, I do not go out. I try to wait until the garbage and recycling trucks have passed on that one day a week. I try to not run when the school buses – I live less than a mile from a bus garage – are on the roads. In short, I try to be safe and not too cold.

The problem comes when training for a February – okay, not spring, but was my first marathon ever – or an April – such as Boston or this year’s Blue Ridge Marathon in my case – marathon. I have to keep a steady training schedule. I need to get long runs in but sometimes – as is the case with this coming week – weather gets in my way.

Do you run outside in all kinds of weather? What “rules” do you have about when to not go outside?

9 thoughts on “The Problem with Spring Marathons

    1. I just truly hate running inside. I am a big sweat-er (as opposed to the article of clothing, sweater) and inside in winter I always feel so gross. LOL! TMI, I know.

  1. I agree training for spring marathons can be brutal. I’m in lower Wisconsin and have some of the same rules. I won’t go out if there is still snow/ice on the roads, single digit temps at night, or winds above 25 mph. The other part I have about winter training is staying healthy. The last two winters during training I have gotten sick. Last summer I trained didn’t get sick. The only other downside to spring marathons is training all winter in the cold and running a marathon in a warmer area. I have moved some of my training runs inside to help eliminate this issue this year. Great blog and thanks for ready my response!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ryan. That training in the cold and then running in the heat was what did in my first ever marathon. Last training run in 20F weather. Temp when crossing the finish line in Myrtle Beach something above 71F (the last temp I got from a woman along the route).

  2. Fortunately we don’t get that much snow most of the time here in Maryland (knock on wood, we do get slammed from time to time, and then wish we had New York’s snow plows and expertise to clear it!) … Anyway, I try to run outdoors whenever possible. If it’s too icy or if the plows haven’t come through yet, I’ll have to make due indoors. We did have a slippery run one year training for Disney. We have a paved trail nearby that’s great for long runs, only it had snowed a tiny bit the day before. We started kind of early and it was really icy on the way out. Gladly, it melted by the time we got to the turn-around!

    1. Last week, I went to a park about 12 miles away to run. They plow the trails so I could get in about a 6 mile loop without worrying too much.

  3. My rule in college was I wouldn’t go out if the temperature was below 23 degrees…odd number, I know, but you gotta have boundaries. Right now I try to get out whenever possible, as long as I’m not sick. And I LOVE running in the snow!

    1. I don’t dislike running in the snow. I just want to make it home in one piece. I do, though, dislike running in bitter cold. Trying to figure out how many layers I will need the next few days.

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