CHRISTIAN’S SPORTS BEAT - It's Spring Running Time

By: Christian Deiss

(Hurricane, WV) –  With the temperatures getting warmer that means you will be seeing more runners hitting the roads and trails, as most have put away their cold weather running gear, with smiles on the faces.  For the runners who got in lots of miles during the cold weather months, the changeover in temperatures is very welcome.

I really like this time of year because I think the conditions are perfect just about any time of the day for running outside. I recently caught up with Hurricane High School Track Coach Eric Cooper as one of his practices was wrapping up and asked him what’s the first thing he tells runners who are getting outside for the first time this year, “I tell them to ease into it.  For some that are coming off a winter where maybe they had a hard time getting out, just to ease into it and not to try to make it all up in one or two weeks and just go day by day and go with how your body feels early on.” Cooper is starting his first year as the Redskins’ Track Coach, after guiding the school’s girls cross country team to a third place finish in the State AAA Championship last fall.

I really look forward to running this time of year and so does Coach Cooper, “I told my kids at the end of the cross country season that if you train through the winter, that when the weather starts to break it’s almost like you get a boost of fitness because of the warmer temperatures.”

Another local runner who looks forward to this time of year, is Jimmy Cunningham, the Girls Track Coach for Hurricane Middle School, “The weather is always nicer, it gives you more opportunities to get out on the road, you have more places you can run, more people come out so more people are involved which makes it a lot more fun.” I ran with Coach Cunningham a lot during the winter, which really helped me prepared for my first season on the Hurricane Middle School’s Track team.

During my winter runs I really didn’t like putting on so many layers, but I knew it was necessary to stay warm.  It’s a whole different deal dressing to run as the temperature climbs and Coach Cooper says just be aware of your surroundings when heading out, “In this area that is sometimes tough because one day we might have 65 to 70 degree temperatures and the next day we could have 40 and sleet.  It’s mainly just being prepared for anything.  Some runners like to wear dry-fit shirts which are very popular now and with the sun out more these days, lighter colors work better also.” One thing I make sure not to forget on a sunny day is to wear sunscreen.

Coach Cunningham agrees with his fellow coach, “Before you run always look at the weather report, shorts and a t-shirt is usually all you need, but make sure you keep a light long-sleeved running shirt handy, especially if you are doing an early morning run that could be a little chilly.”  I have found the best place to get running apparel and shoes in the area is Robert’s Running and Walking Shop in either Charleston or Huntington, the have runners working at both places and understand what a runner needs.  

I know of a lot of people that use the warmer temperatures to start running for the first time, so I asked Coach Cooper what recommendation he had for those runners making their first steps, “I usually tell people, if they haven’t run at all before, to start with a walk/jog or when they begin to start with every other day and not to push it hard out of the blocks, which could cause an injury.”

So with the warmer temperatures now with us, I hope you see more of you out there on the roads, enjoying a run.

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