Motivation to Run through Winter and Holidays

Motivation to Run through Winter and Holidays

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Photo Credit: Coach Jenny’s Holiday Challenge

Finding motivation to run through winter and the holidays can often be hard. And just because the weather is cold, that is no excuse to not run (or atleast, that is what I tell myself!). But it is harder to leave the warmth of the bed in dark:00am for a run (or bike/swim/gym). I’m a relatively new runner with only 3 winters under my running shoes. And it hasn’t gotten any easier to keep myself motivated. But I’ve picked up some tricks to keep myself going in the winter and hopefully it will keep me going through this winter too!

While Winter last year was one of the most mild one I’ve experienced in Atlanta, this year we are already in the 30s and it is only November!! The cold spell started end of October and my hopes that it was an odd spell was futile. Looks like the cold weather is here to stay!

I’m sharing some of the tricks I do to keep myself motivated to run through the winter.

    • Set a Goal
      Whether it be training for a winter/spring marathon or to run a 5k or as simple as a challenge to get in a run/gym 3-4 times a week or Coach Jenny’s challenge (from the image above) or the Runner’s World Holiday Streak a squat challenge or a flexibility challenge or any number of goals! Goals provide a strong motivation to get moving. For me, the lure of a spring race is strong and fearful enough to get me logging in some quality miles. This year, I train for my Mystery Marathon (more on that later!), and I am possessed by fear that I will not make it to the cutoff. You bet I will be out running outside or on the treadmill; fear is a strong motivation for me!
    • Ask a Friend for a Date
      Make a date to run with someone. Ask around your friends to join you for a walk/run. Maybe they are motivated by your drive and want to start. Try local running stores for group runs. Knowing someone is waiting for you to show up is great to propel you out of the door.
    • Join a Group
      The awesomeness of the internet bring the world so much closer is that the group need not even be a one where you meet people. Twitter/Facebook groups, DailyMile and Fitocracy are  a few that I’ve found support groups at. People with the same passion as you are great in encouraging your efforts.
    • Don’t Fear the Weather
      There’s the popular motivational image that says “There is no such thing as bad weather”. All you need is proper clothes to protect you against the elements. I will highlight some of my favorite cold weather gear in an upcoming post. And once you have the right gear, lay them out the previous day and just go!
      Not sure what to wear? Get some help from this tool from Runner’s World – What to Wear (Although you must laugh with me if you know the story behind this. Even if you do, it is still a great guideline on how to dress for weather patterns.)
    • Don’t Fear the Holidays
      The holidays are the busiest time of the year and it becomes difficult sometimes to find the time (and motivation) to head out. Kids are out of school and there is shopping and cooking to be done, gifts to be organized (even though I don’t do Christmas!), parties to attend, and a ton of things to do. Your run or workout is just one more thing to do done. Guard your scheduled time and  use your run to unwind from the craziness of the holidays.
    • Remember the Reward
      Whether it is a tall glass of hot chocolate or the general bada$$ feeling, the reward can drive you to forget the initial discomfort of stepping out. All those looks from cars passing you on the run, totally enough to puff those bada$$ feathers! Not to mention maintaining fitness through winter to give a great kickstart to your next season.

Connect with me  on other social channels for more tips, inspiration and fun!

How is your fitness schedule during the winter? Is it your off season or do you train year around? 

What do you use to motivate yourself to get out there during winter and holidays?


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