Marathoner’s battle the harsh conditions during training season

For Jill and her team, navigating weather is all a part of the journey.
For Jill and her team, navigating weather is all a part of the journey
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Training in the hot, summer months often sets up marathoners for success when racing season comes in the fall.

Jill Murphy has been running marathons for two decades, and is the Owner of Springfield’s 4Run3 running group.

This isn’t the first time she’s worked through tough weather conditions during training.

“It’s not something that’s new to us… to have to work through these challenges,” Murphy recounted.

However, the 2023 Summer has come with its own obstacles.

Western Mass News Meteorologist Dan Brown has two decades of weather under his belt, and still, mother nature surprises him.

“From what I can remember, as far as smoke from wildfires in the northeast, this is definitely one of the worst years,” Brown stated.

For runners, that means doing what they love most becomes even tougher.

Since air quality affects everyone differently, at 4Run3, they let each participant feel things out.

“Some people aren’t sure, so we say ‘go ahead out’ and if they feel any sort of burning in your eyes or your nose or your throat, or you feel much more breathless than you usually are, then turn it into a walk and head back. there are also people that have no problems at all,” said Murphy.

“I was personally able to run through the really smoky days at faster paces, but today I had to take a break every mile because I could feel I was more breathless, but it’s hard to know. Is it the air quality or is it that terrible rainforest humidity, you know,” Murphy conveyed.

Air quality isn’t the only obstacle in the way of runners lately. Large amounts of rain, thunderstorms and even tornados have washed away roadways, also known as courses for any runner trying to train.

“We say this all the time ‘turn around, don’t drown’ when it stops raining and you have this huge puddle in the roadway, it’s very tempting to want to go through it but just turn around,” Brown warned. “It only takes about 6-12 inches of moving water, you get caught in that and the next thing you know it’s out of control. it’s between you and mother nature at that point.”

For Jill and her team, navigating weather is all a part of the journey.

On Tuesday nights, 4Run3 holds their free runs. They’ll still be having tonight’s run and reminding participants to check in with their bodies as they go, and adjusting their pace based on how they feel.