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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > March 2019 > GIVE ME ONE SEASON

GIVE ME ONE SEASON

WHETHER YOU’RE A WINTER WARRIOR OR A SUMMER SPEEDSTER, THE CHANCES ARE YOU PREFER RUNNING AT A PARTICULAR TIME OF YEAR – BUT WHAT’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND OUR SEASONAL PREFERENCES?
Words Michael Donlevy Illustrations is tockphoto.com

What’s the best time of year to run? And what’s your favourite time of year to run? Chances are your answers to those two questions will be the same, but that’s not necessarily right. The fact that you enjoy breezing along with the sun on your back doesn’t mean summer is the best time of year to run, but neither does plodding along and racking up the miles in winter mean that’s the ideal time for it either.

“There’s a large genetic component, but your preferences are also environmental,” says Andy Lane, professor of sports psychology at the University of Wolverhampton.

“If it’s hot every time you run there won’t be any negative connotations.

That shouldn’t limit anyone, though. If you don’t like running in the heat you can learn to do it so you’re not scared of it.”

“As human beings who evolved in Africa we’re likely to be best suited to warm, dry conditions in the low 20s,” says Andy Blow, co-founder of Precision Hydration (myh2pro.com). “I guess that would tally with a lot of us probably enjoying running in the warmer summer months than in winter.”

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About Men's Running

For the last three years running, I’ve had the same New Year’s resolutions: to learn Japanese and to play electric guitar. I’m not sure what the sell-by date of these should be but to suffice to say I can say ‘goodbye’ in Japanese and the only riff I know is Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water – hardly the stuff rock legends are made of. But, more happily, my running resolutions are already proving more successful this year. First, was just to run more often. Lifestyle changes, dodgy Achilles and lack of motivation meant that the last two years have been something of a running wilderness. But renewed enthusiasm over the last 12 months has seen a return to something approaching form and my goal to improve all-round strength is definitely working. I’m running fewer miles but a focus on conditioning has seen marked improvement. Thankfully, this month’s guide lays the foundations for making 2019 your best running year. From top advice on how to nail your tempo running to how to improve your mental focus; the best time of day to run and how to come back from injury, we’ve brought everything together to make sure 2019 is a PB year!