What’s the perfect temperature for running a marathon?
You might imagine that it’s a balmy 70 degrees.
But, in fact, most runners turn in their best performances when the temperature resides in the low-to-mid 40s. The fastest runners do their best when the temperature sits in the upper 30s.
Running long distances generates a tremendous amount of metabolic heat. The faster you run, the more heat you produce. Temperatures that feel cold when you’re standing around in them can feel oppressively hot once you start chugging along.
You’ve likely noticed this phenomenon with all kinds of wintertime activities. When you check the weather report, and look at the gray landscape through your window, you don’t want to leave the house. But get yourself out the door anyway, and start skiing or shoveling, and soon enough you’re sweating bullets and stripping off layers. You get to feeling perfectly comfortable in a way that belies what the mercury may say.
It’s the same experience with any new habit, practice, town, school, or job you’re starting out “cold” with. From the outside looking in, the climate may not seem welcoming. You may dread stepping into it. And it does feel stiffly frigid once you do. It doesn’t seem possible you’ll ever feel comfortable living in this new place or doing this new thing. You just want to retreat to the coziness of how you did things before.
But that which seems forbidding from a stationary standpoint, feels entirely different when you’re on the move.
The hardest part is getting going. Once you do, the heat generated by vigorous investment and consistent action will warm you right through.