It just seems like madness to get out of a warm comfy cosy bed only to go out into the freezing cold! Then don't get me started on not wanting to go running when it's pitch black at 5 PM at night!
Unfortunately, if I didn't run during the winter months, I'm sure the weight would pile on with all the festive comfort foods and that's not really what I want after I have worked so hard to lose it in the first place.
So, I've a few things that help to keep me motivated during the winter months and I figured I'd share them with you!
This is by far the best top tip that I could give anyone when they ask how to stay motivated during the winter. Enter races over the winter months or a race in the new year that you'd like to train for.
There's still plenty of races going all over the country(and the world) for the winter months, mostly 5 and 10 ks and there's quite a few themed races that I know of to make it a bit more fun and festive. Of course you could enter Half Marathons and Marathons too, in which case you'll need the winter months for training! So why not enter a few? No-one ideally would want to go into a race without training, so this would give you the added motivation that you need to get out there and get in the mileage.
For those in the UK, there's the Cancer Research Winter Run - I've done this race the last two years now and I love it! What is better than a Winter Themed Run to get you in the festive spirit and to keep you running, that has Polar Bear/Penguin/Snowmen hugs at the end? ;)
A buddy to run with is such an effective way to motivate you to run during the winter(heck, even in the summer if you don't like the heat). Knowing that there will be someone that is waiting on you to go for a run is a great way to keep you accountable(you're not likely to want to stand them up!).
Having a friend to run with can make it safer to run and it'll give you someone to vent to about the weather, however, more often than not, you talk about other things, it takes your mind of the run and it just flies by!
I often run with Phillip and/or his Mum for a bit of company, the whole run goes so much quicker and is much more enjoyable than if I was to run by myself.
You could also join your local running club too which is a great way to socialise and keep you to a running/training schedule. There's actually a new Winter Run Club that has been set up and is launching next week! It's for all running abilities and should be fun! You can find out more about the launch and the run club on the Facebook page HERE.
For this, I mean both running kit and equipment! I think for most people, the issue with running in winter is the cold and the darkness. So, make sure you're equipped for both! Pick yourself up some base layers, some long running tights, running hat & gloves and maybe a decent jacket to protect against the wind/rain/snow and you should be set for the temperature, at least!
Just be careful not to overdress! Your body warms up as you run and you could end up wearing too much and getting overheated!
In terms of equipment, when it's darker in the mornings and the evenings, it's a given that you need to make sure that you'll be both safe and seen! High-Vis and/or lights is a must! I actually have a post I wrote last year on this very topic with some suggestions for high-vis/lights, so you can check that out HERE.
Switch it up!
It's not all about the running and there are other ways that you can train and even improve your running and your strength! On days where the weather is really terrible for running, why not go swimming, do a home workout or even some weight training in the gym(or at home if you have them!). There's always fitness classes too, maybe take a Yoga or Pilates class?
Obviously cross training does not completely replace running and you should try to at least get out for one run a week, but cross training will really benefit you and make you a stronger runner! I advise that if you're not already doing some sort of cross training, you really should start!
This might not be the case for everyone, everywhere but I find it's pretty typical to hear people whining about the weather, come rain or shine.. 'it's too hot', 'it's too cold', it's too dark'.. we never seem to be happy! ;)
The above tips I've mentioned will fix most of these excuses, extra layers for the cold, lights and/or a buddy for the darkness, a waterproof jacket for the rain/snow.
There literally should be no excuses for not running, unless you're injured! Just toughen up and do it! Whilst the weather may not make you feel the best during, you will definitely feel better having gotten back from a run and being able to have a hot bath/shower, a lovely cup of tea/coffee!
Question: Do you prefer running in the Winter or Summer? Do you have any further tips for staying motivated in the winter months?