Running in spring

In researching the themes most commonly associated with spring, it became evident that many a literary mind had done their utmost to describe the societal emergence from a bleak rainy season. Whilst I’m not sure if he was much of a runner, famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy said it best, “Spring is the time of plants and projects”.

For those of us who have recently happened upon running, or are wily veterans with grand schemes for the summer season – the time is upon us for both plants and projects.

As the sun continues to sneak out more encouragingly, our collective desire to advance the earnestly made winter running goals heightens. At this point, juggling enthusiasm with grand plans is a careful balancing act.

The following four concepts are crucial to continuing your running development through spring. 

Rate of progression 

With a strong foundation laid in winter running, warmer weather can spark a rapid increase in training for some. Encourage caution to fellow runners, or if mapping out your training, assess the volume and intensity of your week. Athletes of all ages and experience levels have heard the general advice of adding 10% volume a week or one new run of heightened intensity. Adding both volume and intensity in a single week can increase your risk of injury, thus attempt to change your duration or intensity-based stimuli gradually.

Footwear usage

In AV’s last 6-8 weeks of posting, each runner is likely to have been at different stages of shoe wear. Most running footwear functions similarly to a car tyre, in that you want to keep an eye out for wear, tear and bald spots. Running brands tend to rate their footwear for between 500-750km of use in an ‘optimal’ state. These advised time periods will change depending on your running style or frequency of runs, given the various foams within footwear compress and warp at different rates under repeated impact and compression (see: running).

Goal setting

Spring is a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate. If you set yourself goals at the start of winter, write those down on one side of a piece of paper, and consider what could be renewed for you to get the most out of your running routine. Renewed goals may be time, pace, distance or frequency related, keeping in mind that running shouldn’t be treated as a chore – always goal set with enjoyment in mind. 

Change in routine

With a change in seasons upon us, days start to provide a little more daylight in running hours than previous months. Alternate running times to assess what works best for you – if you’ve never tried running in the morning, a morning lap of the block in slightly warmer weather could be a welcome dose of variety. Similarly, if you’ve yet to attempt any of the sessions mentioned in previous AV pieces, now could be the time to implement a small set of intervals within a run.