By Emily Thorpe, fun runner turned Marathon runner, She Science Ambassador
“It’s cold and it’s dark and my bed is just so snuggly.”
I know I’ve been saying this more often over the past few months.
Regardless of how “wintery” your winter months are, there are those few months of the year when it is a little harder to stay motivated when all you want to do it get home to the heater after work or stay under the covers that little bit longer.
So what keeps you moving? Here are a few things that help me stay motivated during the winter months.
Have a plan
Write it on the calendar, book your moving in so you know that Wednesday night is your Pilates class and Friday is a run with a friend. Freestyling your exercise can be much harder during the colder months.
Train for a new event
Perhaps take your plan that step further and train for a new event. Having that goal once spring hits can be enough to get you up and out there.
Get a running buddy
It’s no secret that I love my running buddy! Knowing that Lee is there for our regular long run training sessions means the snooze button isn’t touched. When training with a friend, if you bail, you are letting someone else down and honestly, it’s much more fun to fight the elements with a friend.
Be part of a group
This could be a group at the gym, a peloton that rides together then coffees together or an online club. Being able to share wins, cheer others on and being encouraged along can go a long way when enthusiasm is waning.
This sounds like a bit of a no-brainer, but adding a thicker pair of crops, longer sleeves or a new pair of gloves can make a massive difference to stepping out in the cold. I learnt this from living in Scotland; there is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices.
I know that my running routes are very different in the winter to the summer months so be smart and trust your instincts. Stay in well-lit areas and let people know where you are. Also being safe means being aware of your surroundings, is it icy, has the rain made the road slippery? Are there obstacles such as uneven paths or tree roots (or spider webs!!) that are hard to see?
Running in the dark when it is pelting with rain is not much fun for the majority of us. Don’t punish yourself if you decide to skip a run because of the weather, if possible change your schedule around or look for an alternative.
Winter is also a tough month for coughs and colds, and it is not always yours that can stop you from getting to your class, the gym or out for a run.
There are some fabulous app’s that allow you to do a work out from home, PT In My Pocket is great for a HIIT session or perhaps the 7 Minute Workout.
Mix things up and try something new
There are so many exciting and interesting events out there. Perhaps you are a runner and want to try something new, maybe getting muddy on a trail run sounds like fun. Perhaps a new gym class is more enticing; join a PT or cross fit group, maybe swimming or spinning. Keeping things interesting helps keep motivation up.
Celebrate the solstice
June 21st is a favourite date of mine! Just knowing that every day after the winter solstice the sun will rise around a minute earlier has me excited about spring, and every run feels a little brighter.
And if all else fails…….. I find buying some nice new work out gear helps as an incentive.
Emily is a She Science ambassador who after running 6 half marathons in 12 months set her sights on the Great Ocean Road marathon in May 2015. After realizing that hills, a great view and even better company made the 44.5km fun, she is now training for her first ultra. Committed to #BanTheBounce, Emily is a fan of the Rebound Racer from Moving Comfort for running and netball and Berlei for everyday wear as well as Pilates and PT. Follow Emily, @mrs_sabbatical on instagram + twitter + blog.
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