When the weather is great, there’s plenty of avid runners who prefer to skip the treadmill and log a few dozen miles outside on a nearby trail or through a few big neighborhoods. But it’s difficult for even the most dedicated of us to keep up that momentum during the winter when the wind, cold, and rain are so unforgiving that our noses freeze over and fingers turn to icicles inside the first half-mile.
Simply put, running in the cold sucks.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep yourself motivated to run outside during the winter:
Find a buddy:
Running partners hold you accountable no matter what time of year you prefer to run. But they really come in handy during the winter when it’s easy to say, “Nah, I’ll just skip today and stay cozy under the blankets.” As they say, misery loves company. If you can get three or four buddies to power through a cold run with you, or you can find a local running club, you’ll be much better off.
Buy the right equipment:
We all love to run in our sleek, new outfits during the summer. But none of that will work during the winter. Winter gear can include everything from gloves and hand warmers to long-sleeve tech shirts, running tights or sweatpants, and beanie caps. There are ways to layer up comfortably without feeling too weighed down for your run.
Sleep in your running gear:
To piggyback off the previous tip, consider sleeping in your workout gear. This way, you’re ready to go with zero excuses when the alarm clock goes off at 5 a.m.
Sign up for a race:
You’re less likely to skip out on a run in frigid temps if you’ve signed up for a local 5K and can use it as motivation to keep plugging along. Those race days can even count as your workout, and you won’t be running it alone.
Keep your mental game in check:
Set goals for yourself and remember that this is wintertime. That means lots of holiday parties with food that’s not so good for you. These cheat meals will rack up and can easily expand your waistline if you start skipping two or three runs each week. Stay mindful of your weight loss goals and get to running as much as possible.
Reward yourself for going:
The health and fitness gurus of the world will probably chastise us for suggesting this, but reward yourself with a delicious treat once a week for staying on task during the winter. Even if you don’t want to eat junk food, you can treat yourself to a day spa or even a splurge spree at the mall. Having a reward or incentive to look forward to goes a long way when it’s time to train.
What did we leave off this list? Is there something that you do to coerce yourself to get in those runs on a cold morning where you’re the only one out on the road working hard? Reach out to us and share your best winter running secrets.