Okay, you've been a gym rat all winter, and now that spring is here, you want to take it outside. It's very easy to do and makes it much more convenient so don't be afraid to enjoy the nice weather! Here are some things to remember:
1) Sunblock, hat, and sunglasses. The sun can be brutal.
2) Cell phone for emergencies.
3) Fuel belt with Propel or similar drink for hot days.
4) In the heat of the summer, St. Louis humidity makes even standing outside unbearable. Heat stroke is a real problem. These are the days you should consider taking it inside. Or, try to work out early in the morning when it is the most cool. Take it slow. It takes your body about 2 weeks to a month to adjust to the heat and humidity. Give it time to adapt.
5) Running on the road is much tougher on your joints than the treadmill. To save your joints, try running on dirt, gravel, or grass. If you have to run on roads, do it slowly and watch the mileage. Do your shorter runs on the road and your longer roads on the treadmill for awhile to get used to it. Slowly increase the mileage, backing off if you feel aches or pains. I always alternate treadmill with road runs to avoid knee pain. It helps a lot.
6) Open water swimming is much more fun than pool swimming, but it's harder too. It's like running on an uneven surface. There can be currents and waves. Make sure it's safe and try not to swim alone. Know where you're going and sight often to keep on course.
Have fun! Going outside is soooo much better.