Posted by: arcticpacksiberians | December 20, 2016

Winter. A thing of the past ?

Well, in north-east Scotland it seems to be.  Over the last few years there has been a definite shift towards one long Autumn followed by spring, rather than any sort of defined winter.  Of course, in writing this blog I am hoping to be  proven wrong and that we get a huge, prolonged dump of snow….

In the uk the lack of snow is not an issue as we are well used to it and all the running in the wet and mud that goes along with ‘dryland’.  The dogs never really seem to mind but it is certainly a far more pleasant experience for all concerned when we are running on the white stuff in temps below zero.   The vastly fluctuating temperatures can pose a bit of a problem with getting any sort of mileage on the dogs and also for those holding races, as one day it can be -4 and 48 hours later can be as high as 16 C as happened fairly recently.  One of the good things about the uk is that we can usually run dogs all year round. (well, depending on which part of the uk you live)  During the summer months, a few people on facebook get their knickers in a huge twist about what others are doing with their dogs, leading to lots of bickering and arguments about people ‘risking their dogs lives’ etc etc because they are giving their  dogs a leg stretch in July.  As September rolls around and the temps start to drop a little,  everyone and their granny makes a mad rush for the forest and people forget about getting involved in what was really none of their business in the first place.  Temperatures in the uk can be hugely different on the same day from one end of the country to the other.  There is often a clear 10 degree difference between temps we get here and what our friends experience further south.  And it does make me chuckle when people vocal about running in the summer,  start training Aug/Sept time in pretty much the same temperatures as those who are out at first light in the summer. We don’t have a lot of space for the dogs to free run around in, so we much prefer to get them out for a run during the summer if the temperatures allow, which they often do. It helps keep their little brains occupied. (Sometimes it is just too warm though.  It’s not we like run them in 20 C or anything like that!) We run a lot less frequently in the warmer months as the temperatures are usually only ok around first light.  With work, we can only manage this on the weekends.  This year, was a bit exceptional in that we did manage a few summer runs in the late evening.   Others of course,  may feel differently and that their dogs and they themselves need a summer break or that their dogs cannot run in temperatures above 10 degrees etc.  That is ok too.  That is the point.  Just because someone is doing things a little differently from you, doesn’t mean they are wrong or indeed, endangering their dogs.  Different dogs need and can cope with different things. Different people run dogs for different reasons and have different goals.   Just know your own dogs, do what you and they are comfortable with and stop worrying so much about what others are doing.  Life is a whole lot less complicated that way.

This years facebook rants got me thinking about the temperatures over the last 12 months.  I took a random, dated picture for each month and looked back through the training log to see what we had recorded the temperature as for each run that corresponded with the picture.  The coldest run was February at -2  degrees C.   The warmest was June at 14 degrees C.  We haven’t ran on snow at all this year.  Perhaps January and February may bring some.   Maybe.

Not a drop of snow in sight.

Not a drop of snow in sight.

 

 

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