The cold weather slowed the Bulldogs’ track and field squad prior to the relative “heat wave”
The harsh winter caused slippery outdoor running conditions for the team, which only makes them worry about potential injuries.
“The biggest issue with running in the cold is the ice and snow,” senior mid-distance runner Connor LaRowe said. “Trying to get hard days in are really difficult when it snows all the time. It is really hard to get quality runs in on the icy roads.”
Not only does the weather present dangerous obstacles for the runners, but they also need to protect their bodies from the cold.
“When it is colder, you wear more clothes, so it is definitely not as easy to go fast,” LaRowe said. “Your movements are generally restricted in the winter because of it. The bad roads make it way harder on your ankles and knees and legs in general, as well.”
Many of the Bulldogs have unique training schedules to follow and not every athlete runs the same distance. Sprinters and distance runners experience the cold differently, as their outdoor training regimens can be completely different.
“The weather affects everyone differently,” senior sprinter Tom Lyons said. “With sprints, we have a fifteen- to twenty-minute warm up that we have to do inside then go get layers on to go run outside like little kids going out to recess. That changes how fast we ran in practice and it will then change how fast we can run in a meet.”
The cold weather does not only affect the different types of runners, but it also impacts runners facing health problems.
“I would say the cold directly does not take more energy, but to keep moving around and stay warm between races does,” Lyons said. “It can also affect breathing, like me and a few others on the team who have asthma, the cold can cause it to flair up relatively easily.”
Although the cold weather has made training more challenging, the team has continued to push each other and overcome the mental challenges together.
“Running day after day alone can take a toll on our bodies, but adding into that conditions of icy sidewalks, wind chills close to zero or below, blowing snow, etc. can make motivation hard to come by every day,” Lyons said. “That is where it is great to have a team to push you through all of the workouts.”
Despite the brutal conditions Mother Nature has caused this season, the Bulldogs have remained positive.
“When it is zero degrees, running outside is the last thing I want to do,” LaRowe said. “It can be tough to stay motivated when you are battling harsh elements. You just have to remember that in order to be competitive, you have to do the stuff that you do not want to do.”
The Bulldogs will compete again April 12 in Hillsdale.