Even though I live in Florida, the dilemma of how to keep motivated on winter runs is still a pressing issue. We may not get as cold as our friends in other parts of the world, but our temperatures do plummet, and we’ve been victim to ice and hard freezes. These are conditions that sap the motivation from the most dedicated runner.
Yup, it’s cold out there. However, it’s easier to keep motivated if you bundle up and stay comfortable. Spare no layers. Make use of hats and gaiters, ear warmers and mittens. Break out the fleece tights and the warmest socks you can find. Heck, you can even sneak hand and foot warmers into your gloves and shoes, if you need extra warmth for you fingers and toes. I find that if I can cover my ears, fingers, neck and chest, I don’t get quite as cold.
Recruit a buddy.
I think we can all agree the a) running is better with friends, and b) misery loves company. If you’re going to be cold and miserable, get a buddy to keep your mind off things (as restrictions in your area allow). It’s nice to share the experience with someone, and also a little safer, especially where footing may be treacherous.
Claim your badassery.
Running is freezing temperatures can be a badge of honor. Even this morning, with a real-feel of 28*F, the crossing guard along our route yelled out “You girls are crazy running in this weather!” For some reason, that gave us a little extra pep in our step, as if we were doing something that not many people dare to do. So post those frosty runfies, and claim your street cred! You deserve it!
Embrace a different perspective.
The views are certainly different in winter, so embrace them. While I would love to see some snow and ice (yes, I know, but I find it so peaceful), winter is time for some of the best sunrises and sets during the year. This is just a normal weekday, but the sky is on fire. It’s hard to focus on the discomfort of winter running when this is your view.
Reward yourself for your efforts.
I am not ashamed to say I am super motivated by bribery, and if treating myself to rewards keeps me going, then so be it. If I tell myself I have a hot shower, or a specialty cup of coffee (even if it’s iced) coming my way, I’m much more likely to keep motivated on winter runs.
With all things, never compromise your safety or health. If it’s TOO cold or conditions are hazardous, take a rest day or hop on the treadmill. There’s no shame in that game! At the end of the day, you want to enjoy this crazy sport, in icy, mild, and blistering conditions!
How do you keep motivated on winter runs? I’d love to hear about it!
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