Here we are, in the depths of winter. Even though we are fortunate here in the Pacific Northwest with comparatively mild winters, we do have to deal with the grey skies and the rain. It’s enough to sap the motivation out of even the most devoted runner.
While it may seem like it when the rain won’t let up and your car is covered in frost every morning, winter will not last forever – here are eight ways to make it through what sometimes seems like years of rain and cold.
1. Get your Vitamin D when you can –
Even if it’s bitterly cold outside and the last thing you want to do is leave your warm abode if the sun is shining, get out there. There is nothing better for you in the winter than naturally soaking up that Vitamin D. It not only improves immune system functionality, but it’s also a huge mood booster. Take advantage when you can.
2. Fresh air is always refreshing –
The second-best thing to Vitamin D? Fresh air! Who wants to be stuck in a stuffy room all winter breathing in the same circulated air as all of your sickly co-workers? Anytime you can be outside, it can improve your health.
3. Dream about warmer weather and blue skies –
If it’s been dreary and rainy for a week or more, it’s time to start fantasizing. Daydreaming about warmer and sunnier times while running in the cold and wet can get you halfway to actually being there. Trick your brain into thinking the weather is better than it is. Tell yourself that you don’t mind the rain lashing your face, or that the front of your legs have not gone numb from the cold.
4. Dress for the weather –
Remember to avoid getting too chilly by dressing properly for the weather. As a rule, it will feel 20 degrees warmer than the temp is while you are running. For example, if it is 55 degrees outside, once you’re warmed up, it will feel like 75 degrees. If it’s really chilly (under 40 degrees), add gloves, a hat, and think about lined leggings and wool running socks. Layering is always a smart idea. You can take off layers when you get too warm, but you can’t add what you don’t have if you get too cold.
5. Run/Train with a buddy –
There isn’t a better motivator than having a friend that you know is always ready to run. And you should be that person for someone as well. Is it 31 degrees and sleeting outside? Then you should be motivating your friend to get out there with you. You can warm up by the fire when you get home. But being miserable in the rain or snow or sleet always feels less unpleasant when you run with a friend.
6. Run a special race –
Want motivation to keep running during the winter? Sign up for a race that you have always wanted to do that makes you train during the winter. You will have to get out there and do your training runs or either a) you won’t be ready for your race or b) you will be training on the treadmill – Boo! Get out there!
7. Plan a destination race (somewhere warm) –
While with this option you will be doing your training during awful weather conditions, you will run somewhere warm and beautiful. What better way to reward yourself for all of those grueling miles outside than to plan a destination race?
8. Have a Spring countdown –
Sometimes you need to have a date ahead of you on the calendar. When you start developing that Spring Fever, start counting the days until Spring (or more like Memorial Day around here), when you know the weather will get better. You can even go as far as marking the days off with a red marker. I might be doing the same thing.
There you have it – plenty of ways to ease yourself from Autumnal bliss, through wretched winter, and back into the warm embrace of Spring.