If the opportunity of a cold weather-sprint presents itself, you might as well take it

By Catherine Orda | Photos courtesy of Skechers Philippines

What is the best temperature for running? It’s a largely relative matter since people run for different reasons, but if your main goal is to strength train or prepare for a marathon, low temperatures are ideal.

If we’re being really specific here, the best temperature for running, according to studies from the University of Aberdeen’s Medical School, is 10 to 11 degrees Celsius. This is because in cold temperatures, the heart doesn’t need to work as hard. Running with a more relaxed and much lower heart rate means you won’t feel too fatigued during your workout. You can better endure discomfort, maximize your speed, and run longer.

In a recent press conference for the first ever Skechers Performance Run, Gerald Anderson echoed such advantages: “I was lucky that the first ever marathon I did was held in LA. It was such a good experience because the weather can distract you from the pain and the distance of the run. Kaya based on that experience, sana the first marathon people would run is one held in cold weather talaga. Grabe kasi ‘yung panahon natin, grabe yung heat dito sa bansa natin.”

“I was lucky that the first ever marathon I did was held in LA. It was such a good experience because the weather can distract you from the pain and the distance of the run. Kaya based on that experience, sana the first marathon people would run is one held in cold weather talaga. Grabe kasi ‘yung panahon natin, grabe yung heat dito sa bansa natin

It’s true that living in the tropics does deny us of some of the most ideal training conditions, but if ever the opportunity of running in low temperatures presents itself, here are more reasons why you should take it:

It Burns (Slightly) More Fat

The burned fat differential for when you run in the cold is almost trivial, but the process of fat burning is certainly less arduous and a lot more efficient when it takes place in lower temperatures. The reason behind this perk has to do with, again, a lower heart rate. Because it takes a lot more time and effort for fatigue to kick in, you get to exert yourself more during a run. A run in the cold is a faster, farther run. Another reason for why more fat is burned in cold weather has to do with shivering. This involuntary act ups the amount of energy you exert to burn fuel (fat), causing you to burn even more of it.

It’s Good Mental Training

When asked about how he was motivated to train for last year’s LA marathon despite his busy schedule, Anderson says: “Running is always a way for me to do more. It’s like my therapy. It takes away all the stress from… ‘yung gulo ng trabaho ko rin. So I run every day. When I have two, three hours to spare, I run. Wala akong excuses.”

Running in itself is an act that already requires tremendous discipline and willpower, and, done in the cold where the odds seem to be stacked against you, the stakes feel somewhat higher. This one is a little more difficult to prove objectively, but there is definitely something about running in extreme conditions that you don’t usually get in working out when the weather is safe and nice. Running in the cold provides an added layer of precariousness that can somehow force you to sharpen your mental toughness.

Needless to say, this item ought to be taken with the necessary caution—always listen to your body; if it gives off warning signs, then it’s certainly not a good idea to run in very low temperatures.