How do you stay motivated in the winter?

As the hours of daylight are quickly diminishing and the temperature is dropping here in London, I am finding it harder to go out for a run. It is still dark out when I get up for work and I tend to have little motivation at the end of work when the sun is already setting.

How do you all stay motivated during the winter? This will be my first winter as a consistent runner and I am very keen to hear any tips or advice that you have!

Also good luck to everyone on their runs or races this weekend!!

12 Replies

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  • I'm afraid the answer is the same as for starting c25k - you just have to get out there and do it! Maybe sort out a different route, get your gear ready for when you usually run and, no ifs/buts go - you know you'll feel better when it's done :-) your other option is to join a gym for the winter months and properly train, not just visit, use the dread mill if you have to. And make the most of your weekend running.

    For me it's running as usual with a head torch, only ice on the roads, trails stops me (and I'm not that hardy).

  • I'm lucky as I can get to change my days around a bit to fit in with running. The thing I don't do is running on ice. I'm so nervous about it at the best of times. Luckily since I learnt to run we have had some mild winters but if the weather forecasters are right my luck might run out this year, then I suppose it will be the dreadmill for me. throughout the year though I always try and plan my runs the week before. I look at the forecast and then book the time, that way I hopefully can make use of the best days. I'm allowed to change the day but I get grumpy if anyone else asks me to 😉.

  • 1) Join a running club - they'll keep you motivated through the winter

    2) sign up for some winter events. You'll have to keep training to be fit enough to run them

    3) From January to March - sign up for Jantastic (www.jantastic.me). You commit yourself to x number of runs per week in January, with additional targets coming in in Feb and March. If you join with a group, it means that if you don't run, you let the group down. This provided me with the additional incentive last winter

    4) Desperation stakes here: put your running kit on, drive out in your car to a point some 5K away, leave your house keys under a stone, drive home, post your car keys through the letter box. Now you have to go on a 10K run to collect the house keys to let yourself back into the house when you've finished. There's no way of shortcutting it (well you could walk, I suppose, but I'm sure you get the drift

    5) Just remember - running is fun, Fun, FUN !!!

  • Number 4 - Made me chuckle out loud!!! I will remember that one for when I am back in the UK.

    I must admit I am terrified of the rain...maybe i will melt like the wicked witch!!!

  • These are amazing suggestions, thanks so much! I love #4!

  • love number 4 too

  • I have stuck to the same days/routine from starting C25k, Tuesday + Thursday come in from work, change and go straight out .. come wind or rain or both ..

    You just have to go out and do it :D and believe it or not enjoy doing it :D

  • I started C25k just as the days were getting longer, so this is my first winter too. I think it's reminding myself how I have come and how "proud" I am of what I am now capable of that is a real motivator. If I slack off too much, I may have to start all over again...I have also got a few events booked in November and December and am planning for the next big target (half marathon) at the end of Feb 16 - having something to aim for also helps to keep you on track.

    Last tuesday I couldn't get out in the afternoon as planned and then had to cook tea etc, by 8pm it was dark and I didn't really feel like it and was grumbling to myself as I got changed, but I felt as I would have been cheating myself if I hadn't gone out. yes, it was shorter and a different (safer) route than if it had been during the day, but I did it.

    Finally, we call all hold each other virtually to account here :-)

    Just remember why you started in the first place and keep going. And running in the dark actually turned out to be quite fun too!

  • I'm really struggling at the moment - have lost my mojo following injury at the end of June and therefore not much running since then. Now I can run again, and want to get back up to my 10ks, the clocks are about to go back, the weather is closing in and... yuk! not the time for inspiration, really. So your post is well-timed, thank you, and I like some of these responses. Well, I don't actually like them, but you know what I mean :D So for me, it's a question of gritting my teeth and just getting back out there again. Last year I was running in snow, on ice (not recommended) and in the cold and found it quite exhilarating, but I'd joined the RunStreak challenge that had me running 1 mile a day from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day. I won't be doing that again because I found it too hard on my poor old bod, but joining some sort of challenge or signing up for a race is definitely motivating. Good luck!

  • This is my 2nd winter of runinng. Last year I concentrated on gradually building up my distance. This year I've entered the 10km winter run in London on 31st January. I've found that running in the colder weather is better than when it's hot & humid. I love the longer days of summer but the clearer Autumn & winter air feels much better

  • It isn't easy I agree BUT what kept me going last year was that I was training for a marathon- so sign up to something to train for. The best is when it's frosty on a morning and all you see is the ice in the light of your head torch that looks like twinkly diamonds... Enjoy :)

  • I hate running in the dark, so I'm doing my long runs at the weekend, and limiting my evening runs to 5k. If the worst happens it's off to the gym and give the treadmill a reason to get in everyone's way. I have to keep it going though, I have a HM in 7 weeks - eek.

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