Staying motivated on cold winter mornings is easier said than done, especially when all you’d rather do is curl up underneath those warm covers and get in an extra half hour of shut-eye before the day begins. It is however extra important to keep up with your running routine in winter so that when summer rolls around again you’re likely to be at more or less the same fitness levels and won’t have to work as hard to get back into the swing of things.
Here are some handy tips to help you get better prepared for when the cold winter mornings arrive:
- Start early with a warmup session
There’s nothing worse than being startled by your alarm and then having to rush out of bed to get suited in your running gear, and then having to rush out of the door into the freezing cold before you’ve even had a chance to collect and gather your thoughts for the day.
Rather, plan to get up just that bit earlier to give yourself a chance to properly wake up, enjoy a warm beverage or energy-enhancing smoothie and try a few warm-up exercises before you decide to dash out of the door. Having just a bit of extra time for yourself in the mornings will do wonders for your mental preparation and will give your body time to adjust and warm-up for the run ahead.
- Make sure you have the appropriate running gear
Cold winter mornings require running gear that’s warm but that will also cater to the weather as the day start to warm up. Adding a running skirt over your running shorts is trending these days for many runners who desire an extra layer of warmth, and wind-proof jackets that are breathable in the back are proving to be a popular item to wear for frosty winter mornings that become warmer as the day progresses.
- Run with someone
Joining a running club or making a pact to run regularly with a friend can help to give you the motivation to stay on track because you’ll have someone depending on you and vice-versa. Running solo is a great way to de-stress but running with a group or a friend can help take your mind off the uncomfortable elements and can help keep you focussed on covering the ground in front of you instead of longing for the comfort of your bed.
- Sign up for races ahead of time
Signing up for races in your area well ahead of time can give you some structure to your running routine as well as the motivation to keep pushing ahead to reach your goals. Having a plan in place and setting realistic milestones that you would like to reach is also a great way to keep motivated and can help you get creative with predictable running routines that may need to be changed up a bit.
Just as every season has its perks, running in winter can actually be fun (if you don’t already enjoy it); it can also be a fruitful time to increase your fitness levels and improve your mental strength for the hot and gruelling summer days ahead.