Saturday, 14 January 2017

Staying Motivated During The Winter Months!

It's cold. It's dark. I'm tired.

The "dedicated, passionate and inspiring runner," I've been so called now feels like a fake as I can't even muster up enough will to get my butt out the door into the frigid air to train.

Yes, it happens to the best of us. The mercury drops and as to does our training mojo. Having a plan and some go-to tricks will help you karate chop the winter training woes and reach your spring goals!

1. Make a date!
Once again accountability to the rescue! Having a planned Run-Date definitely helps me get out the door for those long runs and actually even for some shorter social runs during the winter months.

2. Keep your goals in mind!
It can be appealing to cancel a training session because of weather. But remember, cold and nasty weather doesn't last forever and eventually your race will be on the horizon. I can recall running in the Boston Marathon April 2015 following the worst winter for training I'd ever experienced as a runner here in Nova Scotia. That day in Boston, the rain came sideways and the wind was ruthless, but I remember thinking as I chugged my way through Natick that this still wasn't as challenging as some of the training runs I had endured. If conditions are safe, get out there! It will make you tougher and more prepared for race day.

3. Seek out Social Media!  
There are definitely Pros to using social media, especially when you are looking for some motivation! Instagram, Strava run groups, Twitter, etc. can be a huge help when you are just looking for that little nudge to leave your cozy warm living room and hit the roads. I've certainly scrolled through the Strava News Feed to see which of my friends have already got a head start on me and it usually is just what I need!

4. Map out a loopy route!
Is it too cold/slippery/windy to run outside? Sometimes I choose a loopy route around my neighborhood with the intent of ditching layers or spikes depending on conditions. There have been many winter long runs where I've ran the first loop and then thrown a Buff, Yak Trax or gloves onto the hood of my car as I ran by the house. I have also finished water bottles and left them on the steps before I set out to finish my run. And it never hurts to be reminded that you WILL warm up after the first couple of miles!

5. Make it fun!
Try out a new neighborhood, climb to the top of a hill that in the past has intimidated you, challenge yourself to X number of minutes or add in some strides! Do something off the norm of your regular running regime to add a bit of spice.

6. Dress Appropriately! 
Well, you know how the saying goes, "There's no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing." I become a real crank-a-saurus when I'm cold so needless to say, I'm always dressed the part in winter running! I've been blessed with being a 2017 Mizuno Ambassador and as a loyal fan of their Breath Thermo gear I never leave the house without it in the winter! It is amazing how it captures escaping body vapour to generate heat returning warmth to the body!!!!!

On frigid days I cover my exposed skin (like on my face), with Vaseline. I also like to make sure my neck is covered (usually with a Buff), if the wind is sharp. You will also see me wearing long socks like my tiux compression socks to help keep me warm on the run.

7. Warm it up!
Congratulations, you can check off your run, sync your Garmin and upload your stats! You finished your run and now you can stretch and warm up. I enjoy using a hot water bottle or a heating pad on my muscles post run. Staying cozy after the shower in some warm socks and a sweater while enjoying a post run hot beverage - there's something so great about it!
Very cute hot water bottle my sister gave me as a Christmas gift!
So there you have it - some winter training tips that will help you stay on track and keep those spring goals a reality!

Thanks for stopping by the GGR blog space! Have a wonderful day and stay warm!
How do you stay motivated in the winter? 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

3 comments:

  1. It's definitely hard to want to get out and run when the weather isn't ideal. Fortunately for me I don't have time to run in the morning so by the time I get outside it has warmed up!

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  2. I don't really have winter woes (I live in S Florida) but I will be traveling for work to cold cities in the next few months so thanks for the tips!

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  3. I can't relate to the cold weather, but I definitely still scroll through social media for inspiration (aka I look through your instagram feed to get motived)! :D

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