With winter drawing in, it can be hard to get yourself out for those runs. The nights get darker sooner and it’s cold outside. The temptation to stay on the sofa on a Netflix binge with a hot drink gets ever stronger.
For many of us, it’s also the time to start training for spring race season. Even if you don’t have a race to train for, staying on track with your running will keep your endurance and stamina in peak condition.
Here we have compiled five tips to help you stay motivated through in winter.
Hit the trails
Winter and trail running go hand in hand. There are loads of events around this time of year, but going off-road is perfect for your day-to-day runs as well. No matter where you live, you’re never far from a footpath, forest, river path or heath. The ever-changing landscape at this time of year will help distract you during your run – but do pay attention to your feet; there are trip hazards aplenty! You will have to bear in mind the decreasing light, but if ever there was a time to try the trails, this is it!
Get the right kit
You know what they say: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. If you’re cold and wet on your run, you’re never going to enjoy it! Invest in the right clothes for the season and you’ll find yourself far more motivated to leave the house. It’s all about the layers! Try longer-length running tights, thicker socks, gloves, a hat and a lightweight wind-proof jacket that you can take off if you warm up. Oh, and don’t forget lights! After the summer, it can be hard to get back into the routine of wearing high-vis and lights – be safe, be seen.
Stick to a plan
Write down all your planned runs, as it makes it harder to miss them. Add them to your diary so you can see them in black and white. Yes, it’s tempting to hibernate until March, but that won’t do you any favours in the long term. Make a plan, set targets and get it done!
Try something new
If you’re not in training for anything in particular, this is the perfect time of year to try some different running sessions. Hill training and interval workouts are great, as they are over and done with quickly, but you still get a quality run in. You could also look at cross-training; hitting the pool or riding your bike in place of a couple of rules could improve your overall cardio fitness (and get you triathlon ready for summer if you’re that way inclined!). Plyometric workouts or HIIT sessions in your week can build explosive power to shave your parkrun PB, or add in cosy yoga/Pilates sessions for a good all-body stretch.
Join a club
It’s much easier to stay motivated, if you have someone to run with. Not sure a running club is for you? Most clubs will let you try a few sessions for free before you have to commit. Running with a club with give you company, as well as sessions you might not do on your own. If you don’t fancy a formal running club, do a shout out on social media for running buddies. You never know who else is finding it hard to get motivated and will be grateful for the push!