fairweather running: should i stay or should i go?

I have discussed my tendency to “fairweather running” many times on the blog, most notably with my refusal to run in the rain. However, seeing weather conditions experienced by runners throughout the world, I realized that “fairweather running” is, like most things, a matter of perspective. Living in Florida, what is normal running conditions for me is inconceivable elsewhere. Today I’m sharing about when I stay and when I go when Mother Nature calls.

fairweather running

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

When you live in the Sunshine State, it’s pretty much always hot. Most experts will advise to shelve running efforts when it hits 85F, but that would cancel about seven months of running here. What’s a Floridian to do?

Do I Stay Or Do I Go? Heat is not a reason for me to stay in. The caveat is I will try to get most of my running done before the sun really starts blazing. When I have to be out in temps higher than I prefer, I just slow it down and listen to my body to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

When It’s Cold As Ice

Shockingly, it does get cold in my area. We have temperatures dip as low as the 20s, if not the teens, although it doesn’t last long. As a result, I do own a small stash of leggings, gloves, ear warmers, and fleece tops, and I am not afraid to use them.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? I play the cold by ear. I have Raynaud’s Syndrome, so I do have to be careful of my hands and feet. In the winter, I tend to push my runs a bit later, so the sun can work for me and eliminate some of the chill. It’s so rare to have cold days, though, that I do try to make my runs happen to take advantage.

fairweather running

Here Comes The Rain Again

Like the Wicked Witch of the West, I am not a fan of rain. Where I live, it’s never refreshing (see also: sprinklers), as it just adds wetness to the already abundant sweat. Then comes the chafing, and the extra misery. Count me out.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? Ugh. The truth is, if I wake up for a run and it’s already raining out, I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. If I am out and it starts raining, I will suck it up, although I might cut my route short. I’m not ashamed to admit I am a sissy about rain.

fairweather running

Let It Snow

Yes! Let it snow! Oh, I do love the snow, and I love running in it. Granted, it’s not something I get the opportunity to do often, so I’m like a little kid when I see flurries. There’s something so fresh about the air and so joyous about the flakes that it makes the run extra special for me.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? If it snows, I go! It’s so rare that I get the chance to see snow that running in it is a special and desirable experience. Yes, it’s slippery and I do have to be more careful of ice and slipping, but I am here for the snow.

fairweather running

Rock You Like A Hurricane

The big weather anomaly we have is hurricanes. Hurricanes comes with a plethora of characteristics: torrential rain, pummeling wind, hail, lightning, tornadoes, and the list goes on. On the flip side, right before they strike, hurricanes also bring low pressure, gorgeous cool breezes, and a break from high temperatures. This makes it perfect for running (and surfing), but believe me. It’s all a trap.

Do I Stay or Do I Go? When the hurricane hits, stay home! It’s especially important to avoid going out when the eye of the storm passes over (it could take minutes, or it could take an hour, and believe me, it’s beautiful and calm), but then you’re right back in harm’s way. Not only do you have to stay safe from the above weather conditions, you also have to worry about things like displaced wildlife and downed power lines. Wait until the entire storm has passed and your area has the all clear before making a move.

fairweather running

How do you feel about subpar weather when running? What are conditions in which you absolutely will not run?

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18 Responses to fairweather running: should i stay or should i go?

  1. I will run in most weather conditions (not a hurricane!) but I do opt for the treadmill if I just don’t feel like dealing with the weather. Before I had one I ran outside in just about anything. Now I will generally avoid super windy days in the winter, heavy rain (if its starts before I am already out running), or if its really hot or really cold and I’ve just had enough of it. Getting out early usually helps enough with the heat that I can make it through most of the summer running outside. This year has just been wearing me down though!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…How To Recover After a Long RunMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I agree with getting out early and beating the heat. We rarely get strong winds (unless it’s some tropical system), so even that’s not too much of a factor here.

  2. Wendy says:

    I’m definitely an all-weather kind of runner. The only things that keeps me inside are ice and lightning. Hopefully not at the same time! I don’t love running in heat or bitter cold, but when conditions moderate, it feels like a reward for toughing it out!

  3. I am mostly an all weather runner. Winter running is my preference as I run very hot and over heat easily. You can always put on more clothes. I back off of long runs in the summer time as the heat and humidity do me in. I have gotten better at listening to my body and my heart and not running if I don’t want to. I probably could not deal w the Florida heat for an extended period

    • runswithpugs says:

      I run hot as well. I will wear shorts down to about 45F, and only then do I change to tights. I just have to be careful of my fingers and toes with the cold because they will lose circulation quickly.

  4. Shathiso says:

    Wow! You get a broad spectrum of weather conditions! We have hot, hot, hot like you for most of the year. And then about 3 months of cold. Cold mornings but beautiful sunny weather for the remainder of the winter day. No real wind. No snow. No hurricanes. So I should really never blame the weather for not running, LOL! [Yes, extreme heat will hold me back BUT as you say, I think when you live in hot conditions, we are able to tolerate a bit more heat than others.

    • runswithpugs says:

      We get it all, except for the beautiful fall where the leaves change (too many palm trees). Pre- and post-hurricane can be beautiful, but there are a lot of things to look out for before and after a storm, making it not quite as safe.

  5. You name it, I’ve pretty much run in it: rain, snow, sleet, thunderstorms, nor’easter.

    Heat will keep me indoors — sometimes. I tried not to let it this summer but that backfired for me!

    It’s a lot harder to get out when it’s already raining than when it starts raining once you’ve already begun.

  6. I am mostly a fair weather runner. If it is raining, I don’t run as well if it is icy. Luckily that weather doesn’t usually last more than a few days.

  7. Catrina says:

    I remember a January in Florida, maybe 2017 when it was extremely cold. It snowed even! I never thought that possible!
    I run in all weather – but I do hate cold and snowy weather. I find it easier to deal with the heat and humidity.

    • runswithpugs says:

      Yup. It was a little northwest of us, but it happened. We get hard freezes, and we even turn on our heat LOL.

      I’m used to the heat and humidity but it doesn’t make it easier.

  8. Laura says:

    I run in almost all conditions unless it is unsafe – lightning, tornado warnings, severe winds, sub-zero temperatures, ice, etc. My least favorite is cold rain, even though I run in it. I ran in that often when I lived in Seattle and prefer snow.
    Laura recently posted…Faster Workouts are Not Better WorkoutsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      There is no way you would catch me outside in a tornado warning. My booty would be planted firmly in my laundry room (we don’t have sirens or basements, so that’s what I’ve got). I am deathly afraid of them.

  9. Yes, if I waited for perfect weather I would only run a few days a year. I’ll run outside as long as it’s safe and I want to. For example, I adore running in the rain, but if there’s lightening or if it’s too cold to be wet, then I’m going to hit up the treadmill. If it’s 20 degrees, I don’t really want to be outside, so that’s another case where I’ll be inside on the tready. That pretty much sums it up, there is no shame in the treadmill game.
    Beckett @ Birchwood Pie recently posted…Weekly Eats: Breakfast Sammie EditionMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I don’t have a treadmill, so it’s outside or it doesn’t happen. We get scary lightning here, so I do try to watch out for that (we even have something called heat lightning, which is just the craziest thing and the jury is out if it’s dangerous or not.)

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