The wind is howling, the temperatures are dropping and quite honestly staying in bed seems like the best option. We’ve all been there. Chances are you’re not the only one who could do with an extra dose of motivation to help you stick to your running routine as winter closes in. Continuing to run throughout the darker months can bring a wealth of benefits, including maintaining fitness levels, increasing stamina and giving you opportunities to train in varied conditions.
We’ve tested a few slightly more unorthodox motivation methods that could be just the thing to give you that final push out of your bed and into your trainers for a chilly morning run.
Get involved in a virtual race
No race in the diary? No problem. Virtual races can be completed anywhere, at any time. You pay a small fee to enter (a percentage of which goes to charity) and then complete the challenge. Once you provide proof that you’ve completed the challenge, you’ll receive your race medal.
My Race, Virtual Runner UK and Pow Virtual Running are just some of the companies that offer some seriously funky bling you can get your hands on. They offer a mix of challenges with new races added every month, so you’ll always have something different to aim for. It could be the perfect excuse to compete against a friend or get your running club involved to see who can claim their medal first.
Sleep in your running kit
Firstly, you don’t even need to locate and pull on your kit. This gives you 5 (maybe even 10) precious extra minutes in bed, so when you do eventually throw back the covers you’re ready to roll. Secondly, it’s much harder to talk yourself out of a run if you’re already dressed for the occasion.
‘Sleeping in my running kit, is that comfortable?’ we hear you say. It should be. If your tights and tops aren’t comfortable when sedentary, then they won’t be when you’re on the move. Seamless construction, brushed inners and soft-to-touch fabrics are essential for comfort and are all key aspects of our kit. If you’re in need, then you know where to find us.
Sign yourself up for an event where others are counting on you, such as a race supporting a local charity. Now you have to train - you’ve made a commitment to the charity and to those that are sponsoring you. Put in the miles to make sure you bring home the money for your charity of choice.
Additionally, with the festive season fast approaching, there’s bound to be the usual holiday indulgences for you to contend with. Lace-up those trainers to justify that extra mince pie (or three).
Feed your ego
Running in winter isn’t always easy. It takes grit and determination to face off against the cold, wind and rain. The tenacity and resilience you build from running in more challenging conditions are handy perks to have in your locker for your next race. By continuing your running routine throughout the winter season you’ll be rewarded with the feeling of immense satisfaction - plus a few bragging rights amongst your fellow runners.
To remind yourself of how well you’re doing, log your runs using a chart or an app for physical evidence of your accomplishments. Stick it on the fridge, next to your bed or by the back door - anywhere you're most likely to see it. Next time the rain is pouring and you feel like skipping a run, take a look at your run log and remember how it feels every time you make an entry.
Invest in tech
Money doesn’t solve everything, but it might solve this. As smart homes and connected devices become more mainstream, there are a few gadgets to consider which could help kickstart your winter run.
Invest in an automatic coffee maker and set the timer to make you a cuppa for when you wake up. Knowing there’s a hot beverage waiting to welcome you into the day should help tempt you out from under the covers.
Alternatively, you can purchase a small remote control heater for your bedroom. Place it in prime position and turn it on as soon as you wake up to avoid the dreaded drop in temperature when you get out of bed.
So next time you hear the rain thundering against your window and not even the dog is pestering you to be let outside, remember our 5 slightly unorthodox tips to get you out from under the covers, into your kit and on the run. Let us know if any of these work for you - or if there are any tips you think we’ve missed.
Happy winter running #ForTheLoveOfTheRun