If lacing up your trainers and getting out there to train feels like a chore, grab a like-minded partner, someone who will not only motivate you to train but will be motivated to train by you! This way when you’ve decided on a time/session you won’t want to let each other down and can push each other to reach your goals to share in the glory of your achievements!
If it’s too cold to go running, why not give your heart and lungs a boost by slipping on your trunks and going swimming? Seen a new fitness class pop up on your gym timetable? You have nothing to lose by giving it a go! Be it Yoga, Pilates, Zumba or Circuits numerous studies show the benefits of varied exercise on increased motivation and fitness.
Can’t even face leaving the house to get into the car? Try some home bodyweight workouts - work on core stability, strength, flexibility and balance using just your own body. Youtube is brimming with free videos waiting to challenge every muscle in your body.
If you’re not already part of one, joining a gym can give your training a boost over the winter. Work on your speed with the treadmill or use the winter months to focus on building strength so when the weather gets a bit more runner-friendly you can reap the benefits.
If you’re worried about cold legs or arms while running this winter, maybe it’s time to buy some lovely thermals or finally shell out for some tights or gloves. Sports shops now have great ranges of gloves, wind-proof jackets, baselayers, hats and socks to kit yourself out in and be the warmest runner you can be. Most runners will agree that after buying a new piece of kit you will be itching to get out there and try it out.
If the cold really gets to you, use the Winter as the time to build on some short, fast runs to increase your speed and power output. Working on distances around 5k at a faster-than-normal pace or utilising Fartlek sessions will really keep your body warm and make you feel like you’re outrunning the cold.
Setting yourself a target to work towards could be the kick you need to forget about the weather and just get out there and train. If you have a big race coming up in the summer then the thought of that can increase your motivation to train whatever it’s like outdoors now, and more importantly you won’t be able to use the cold as an excuse – if you want to do well in the summer you will have to work for it now!
Eating correctly can not only motivate you and make you feel better but will physically give you the energy to train and stave off the winter blues. If your body is fed the correct fuel. It will regulate heat more efficiently and make those long winter runs feel like the treat that they are. It also might be worthwhile considering Vitamin D supplements in the absence of sunlight if you really struggle to find the energy during Winter months.
Short days, long nights can make trail running tricky – treating yourself to a new toy such as a headtorch will give you a reason to go off-road no matter what time of day it is and has the added bonus of keeping you safe.
Get out there and build some mental grit. Running in the cold weather in shorts and a t-shirt builds character, as any old-school PE teacher will tell you. Besides that, use this time to get used to running in the cold so you won’t suffer during events such as Tough Guy, and learn to laugh off the Arctic Enema – you’ll never require a foil blanket again!