The days are shorter, the temperatures are colder and the idea of slipping on the snow and ice while you are out on a run is not very fun.
As runners, we don’t hibernate and we love to keep training all winter long despite it being harder to fit in our runs. I live in Utah and it gets pretty cold over here during the winter. We get a lot of snow and ice for a few months of the year, and during those times my warm bed begs me to not move a muscle when the alarm clock goes off! I also have a two-year-old that keeps me very busy, so finding time for myself isn’t always easy, especially when the days are shorter during the winter! Here are some of my tips and ways that I find motivation to continue running all winter long:
1. Have the right running gear
Good cold weather running gear will make a world of difference for you! It is so worth the investment and all you need is a quality outfit or two and a washing machine! Having good gear makes it so I can actually enjoy winter running. Nothing like my body feeling warm and cozy with cold fresh air on my face when I am out for a run. That cold air on my face makes me feel so alive! My favorite winter running bottoms are the PureProject Seamless Tights and the Infiniti Tight III. I love my PureProject Shelter Jacket too!
2. Think about what running does for you
I know that I will feel so much better if I get out there and run and that is what gets me out on the really tough days. It is hard to emotionally stay up and happy during the cold and dark winter months. We aren’t outside a lot during the really cold times of the year so I know that my run is even more important than ever during those times. When I start my day off with a run, I know I will be happier, have more patience and be more productive! I am a better mom when I run and take a little time each day taking care of myself too!
3. Use an indoor track to do your speed work
Many colleges and rec centers offer times for the public to use them!
4. Adjust your expectations
When temperatures are extreme (either too hot or too cold) I always make sure to readjust my goals. Hitting my tempo pace just isn’t possible if I am forced to run on the ice or snow that day. I go into my winter workouts knowing that my paces may need to be adjusted when the conditions are rough.
5. Warm-up before you go outside
Run some laps around the dining room table, get down and give me twenty (push-ups) or run up and down your stairs for a few minutes to get your body nice and ready to encounter the winter wonderland!
6. Ask for help
Being a single, working mom can be a little overwhelming at times. Running is very important to me (and it keeps me sane!). Sometimes, I ask for help from my family and some of my friends so I can get out on the roads a few times a week, especially for my long run. If you need a little extra help from the people close to you in order for you to get out and do what you love during the cold months, then ask for it!
7. Utilize that treadmill!
It may not be your number one choice, but if the choice is between skipping your workouts and using the treadmill because the conditions outside are awful, always choose the treadmill. The treadmill has been such a helpful tool for me to continue my training while having a toddler. Weather conditions can make it impossible for me to run outside. Here and here are some posts about my treadmill running tips.
8. Rearrange your schedule if you can
Run when it is warmest and when it is light out to avoid falling and the freezing cold. If you can fit in a run at lunch time or in the afternoon, go for it! Getting some vitamin D during the winter is important!
9. Run with other people
I am always so much more motivated to get out the door for a run when I know I am meeting other people. Knowing that they are relying on me to come gives me so much motivation to do it! The awesome talks you will have with your running buddies will also distract you from thinking about how cold you are during your winter runs.
10. Make up your mind to do it
Tackling the hard runs and getting out of your comfort zone is what makes you stronger. You can do hard things! Just imagine how nice it will be when those spring races come around and you have put in the hard work during the winter. Running in perfect spring temperatures will feel easy after training throughout the winter!
Janae Jacobs has loved running since she was 12 years old. After completing her first marathon in 2010 and finishing as the fifth woman overall, she was instantly hooked on wanting to dedicate more time to training hard and getting faster. Another huge passion of Janae’s is food and her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Brook. Via her blog, The Hungry Runner Girl, Janae shares her thoughts about running, fitness, food, family and other random musings. You can follow Janae on Twitter @hungryrunnergirl, Instagram, and Facebook.