The quick tip this week comes from Paul Spangler, assistant coach for track and field and cross country at the University of Florida. Spangler was the 2009 Big South Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. Prior to his arrival at the balmy University of Florida, Spangler coached at the Virginia Military Institute, which is surrounded by the snow-prone Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. There, he tutored 70 All-Big South performers and helped the track and cross country teams break 21 distance records.
In each season, there are certain adjustments runners can make to best deal with the elements. When it comes to winter, here are a few things Spangler suggests:
- If you’re running an ‘out and back’ course, run out against the wind. This way you’re not running back against the wind when you’re all sweaty, which could make you too cold.
- Make sure you’re hydrating. Winter weather is both cold and dry. When you are colder, you don’t think you’re losing as much water. You must make a conscious effort to hydrate with water and Gatorade.