It is 4:50 p.m. and almost dark. WAH. I know this is payback for the bright sunlight I saw at 7:00 a.m. this morning. Let’s face it - I just like the longer days of summer. Motivation comes easy when it is warm, sunny and inviting outside.
I am one that likes to train through the winter time. Hell, I like to train all the time, which is probably why I am 2 for 7 in the injury department. For me, there is something very satisfying and refreshing about a cold crisp run. There is nothing like the peacefulness of a snowy run or a hot bath after my butt cheeks have been frozen solid out on the trails.
As we creep into winter, here are some tips to keep motivated despite the plunging temperatures:
1. Be grateful: Stop your whining and remember that you can run. You get to run. There are many people too sick, disabled or injured to do what you are complaining about. Some people would kill to go just one mile in your frozen shoes. So, adjust your attitude fool!
2. Know that cold is easier than hot: Running in the cold can actually be less taxing on your body than running in the heat. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to cool down and this can increase performance and energy.
3. Sleep in your clothes: If you are really desperate, sleep in your running tights and base layer. That way you don’t have to go through the extra step of getting undressed and dressed in the morning. You might get up easier, but I’m not promising this will do wonders for your sex life.
4. Get the right gear: Not only should you make sure you’ve got the correct cold weather gear for your climate (see HERE for some guidelines), but treat yourself to a new, fun, sassy running item (thongs might be inadvisable). Maybe this will make getting dressed and hitting the road a bit easier.
5. Have someone waiting on you: I’ve said it before, but there is almost no better motivation than to know someone or a group is waiting for you to show up for a run. Do you really want to be the pussy of the group?
6. Have a warm reward: Know that after your cold run, you will treat yourself to something toasty and warm like a latte, a hot bath or a cup of tea by the fire.
7. Remember the bad-ass effect: Not everyone runs when it’s cold outside. It takes stamina, balls and determination. Tell yourself that every car that passes you is impressed by your fortitude. You may be lying to yourself, but at least it can provide temporary motivation.
8. Know you’ll be less SAD: Research has shown that running in the cold can actually reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Running can release feel good hormones that stave off depression, decrease anxiety and promote a general feeling of contentment.
9. Let your goal stare you in the face: If you are training for something, want to lose weight, or are simply just trying to stay in shape, write your goal down on a sticky note and put it on your alarm clock or bathroom mirror. Sometimes these little powers of suggestion can be the extra push you need.
10. Sign up: There are all kinds of short races throughout the winter time – Peppermint Schnapps 10Ks and Freeze Your Ass Off 5 Milers. Sign up for one just to keep your head in the game.
Do you like or despise running in the cold?
Any cold weather running tips or ways to stay motivated?
Do you train outside all winter long?