When it comes to the changing of the seasons, summer does not get a lot of love from the running community. Everyone raves about the new beginnings of spring or the cooling breezes of autumn. Summer is often met with complaints of heat, humidity, and a desire that perhaps fall will soon come.
I may be in the minority, but you will never hear me complain about summer. I spend November through April dreaming of sunny skies, long days, and rising temperatures. As a resident of the Northeast, summer is my reward for surviving the frigid winter, especially the one that just passed.
I’m here to convince you that with a lot of hydration, a lot of sunscreen, and the right attitude, summer running can be great! Here are a few reasons.
Easy to Dress
In the spring and fall, dressing to run can be difficult. “Should I wear a long sleeve? Is it shorts or tights weather?” Summer running is easy. Just put on your most lightweight attire, grab a hat and watch, and you’re off. Sometimes you can get away with just a sports bra! As long as you are comfortable in minimal attire, of course.
It’s 7:30pm and you haven’t run yet. That’s no problem. There is still another hour of light to help guide your way through a run. Long days mean more opportunities to fit in your workout. The sunset views of an evening run can be spectacular too.
Whatever the Weather
Aside from the occasional thunderstorm or the 100 degree day (both of which I advise you not to run in), summer weather really isn’t so bad. The sun shines most days. The mornings and evenings offer relief from hot temperatures. And when it does sprinkle, there is nothing better than a rain shower run to cool off.
After a spring spent training for a half or full marathon, summer is the time to get your legs turning over again. Sign up for some fun 5K’s throughout the summer. If you’re fall marathon training starts mid-summer, short races make great speed workouts.
Take to the Trails
So much of winter running is confined to the roads while waiting for trails to thaw out. Now is the time to head to the woods! Trail running adds an element of adventure and fun to a run. The shade of the trees means it will be a bit cooler than if you hit the pavement.
A cold shower or a dip in the water never feels as good as after a hot run. Water seems to tastes better. All of the best fruits are in season and they are delicious after a hot run. I think you probably even deserve a cold beer or a scoop of ice cream. After sweating through a run, you’ve earned it.