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Spring running tips: From the treadmill to the pavement

With the evenings getting longer the buds appearing on the trees, it's really starting to feel like spring!  The change of season definitely means changes for runners too.

With the evenings getting longer the buds appearing on the trees, it's really starting to feel like spring! The change of season definitely means changes for runners too.

Whether you hibernate all winter with no running, stick to the treadmill until days are longer, have been sticking it out through the snow all winter, running expert Kari Stuart is here to offer some suggestions to keep you running happy this spring.

Pounding the Pavement
If you have been running at the gym all winter and are now venturing outside again, it's important to understand the difference between running on the road versus the treadmill. Roads and sidewalks are more firm than a treadmill, and the impact can be felt on your joints. Also, a treadmill carries you forward, so your body has to work in a slightly different way, which is arguably slightly easier than propelling yourself on the road. So although you are not starting from scratch, you do need time to adjust to the change of surface. Start easy and increase your time or distance over a few weeks.

As the weather gets warmer, and we produce more sweat, it's important to pay attention to hydration. Hydration while running is always important, but particularly when our temps change and we've already established habits for hydration in cooler weather.

Spring Wardrobe
Our temps can fluctuate so much in the spring. It may be chilly when you first go out, but you will warm up much quicker than during the cold winter months. Too many layers will make you hot and uncomfortable, so you will need to be more thoughtful about your clothing. Dress for mile two. Another thing that changes is that with less clothing, you have less pockets and may have to get creative with ways to carry your nutrition and identification.

Spring in your step
If you took the winter off from running or perhaps you've been training all winter in the same shoes, it might be time for some new running shoes. You should replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, depending on your size, weight, gait, and shoe type. Spring is a great time to freshen up your step and pick up a new pair. Don't do this too close to race day though!

Spring running can be really tough for those who suffer through allergies. Choose your course and your time of day carefully to avoid pollen. Commonly, pollen and mold levels are higher in the morning, so some allergy prone runners suggest running in the evening. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness and dry you out, so be cautious that you are getting enough hydration if using medication. If you do have allergies or suspect that you have allergies, it's best to work with your allergist to know what you are allergic to and what measures you need to take to run safely.

Click here for more running and fitness tips from Kari.

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