by Jana Peale
Summer is my absolute favorite time to run. It has this bad reputation of being too hot, but that isn’t stopping me.
If you plan properly, summer really is the most rewarding time to run. Here’s my top six reasons why I love summer running:
1. Sun. I know the sun being out all day is pretty much why summer gets so hot, but it also makes your run a lot easier to fit into your schedule! Remember getting off work late in the middle of the winter and realizing is was way too dark to run? Not in summer! The sun stays out until 9p.m.! Also, it is always a much happier run when the sun is shining on your back.
2. Tan. At this point we all know it is bad for us to lie out in the sun to intentionally get tan, but if you just happen to run at a time of the day when the sun is out with sunscreen on… is it really that bad to enjoy the couple extra shades darker you get over summer? To me, it is basically a guilt free way of tanning.
3. People. More people run in summer. Just check out Sugarhouse or Liberty Park in the evening and you will see the difference. In the winter, there are a few diehards out running, but in the summer, these parks are packed! This is absolutely a good thing. Runners support other runners. (If you have any questions on what interactions are appropriate refer to Matt’s May 16th blog on the polite runner’s wave). It is so much easier to get a quality run in when people are around, providing support and peer pressure.
4. Events. Summer has so many more events. Every weekend you can find a 5K. There are plenty of marathons, half marathons, trail races, mud runs, and whatever else you might want to do. Having something to train for makes running a lot easier to get done and the actual events are a blast! Check out our local race calendar.
5. Trails. It is no secret Utah has some amazing trails. While it is rewarding to run the trails in the winter, there is nothing better than a summer trail run. The snow has melted and the flowers are blooming. It is absolutely beautiful. Also, there are some solid studies out there linking mental health to time spent in nature. Running the trails is an excellent way to ensure overall wellness.
6. Sweat. Ok, I know this is a weird one, but sweat is actually one of my favorite parts of running during the summer. It’s not that I like to be covered in sweat all day or anything (I really do shower regularly). Really though, you know that feeling when you finish a great run and know you worked hard? That’s so much better of a feeling when you are drenched in sweat. It is physical evidence of how hard you worked.
Enjoy the summer while it lasts!