Winter running can be a struggle. It's cold. It's snowy. It's icy. Your bed is warm. It gets dark early. Your favorite shows are back. The heavy blankets are soooooo comfy, and your pup is cuddled at your feet.
You know what? It's okay. We all struggle. You're not alone. Some runners use the winter as an "off-season" of sorts. They up their cross training, try new workouts, and back off the miles. There's nothing wrong with this. These athletes are remaining active, trying new things, working new muscles, and taking a mental break.
For other runners, winter is a time to hit it hard and nail an early spring PR. These runners may actually back off a little in the summer.
So - know this. There is nothing wrong with taking or needing a little break. Your body does need rest. Ask your coaches - we will happily take a week off here and there throughout the year to let our bodies reset and recover. Everyone needs a chance to relax and hit the reset button.
So, as you struggle to find your motivation out there in the cold, just know you're not alone.
So how do you get it back? How do you find your running mojo? How do you get that drive back?
Here are a few tips:
1. If you're feeling burnt out or worn down, it's okay to take a break. Don't make your break infinite though. Take a few days or even a week off (but don't eat like you're still working out). Maybe take a yoga class or go for a hike. Spend some time detoxing your body and mind. Just find your zen. Try some new healthy recipes, and enjoy your free time.
2. Try something new. Maybe you're just burnt out on running, but you still want to put in some work. Get in the pool, hit a spin class, head to hot yoga, or give crossfit a try. Take some time to explore a new active hobby. Sometimes when we give ourselves a chance to try something new and step away from our routine, we remember what we loved about running in the first place.
3. Love running with music? Download some new songs. Find a new band, create a new playlist. You don't get to listen to it unless you're running!
4. Pick a cool new piece of winter running gear. Maybe it's a jacket you've been eying, new tights, or a new ear warmer. Maybe it's a new running watch. Splurge on it for yourself - you'll have to get outside and try it out! But, don't buy it just to buy it. You have to actually use it or it's just a waste of money.
5. Join a challenge with a friend. Oiselle is currently hosting the #runlovechallenge where you choose a partner, a goal, and work together to meet in by 2/14. There is the RuntheEdge 2016in2016 challenge. Maybe you create one with your friends, family, or co-workers. Make it fun, and help your friends get healthy in the process.
6. Find external motivation. Even the best athletes sometimes lack in the internal motivation department. Watch a running/fitness movie or read a book. Sit down and watch an episode of The Biggest Loser. On the season premiere last night, the host (Bob Harper) gave the contestants a chance to take $25,000 and walk away. Their response? "My health is worth more than that" or "You can't buy thin" - look at what these individuals are doing to change their lives. If they can do this, you can run your 3 miles today.
7. Sign up for a race! One of the best motivators to train is to get signed up for a race you're excited about. Maybe it's a race you're doing with girlfriends. Maybe you and your spouse signed up to do this together. Perhaps it's something you're doing with us, TFC! Now, if you don't want to run a specific distance, don't let someone convince you to do so. If you don't want to run a half, don't - even if your friends are doing so. It is likely you will not train properly, and you may end up getting hurt. Just because everyone is racing a certain distance doesn't mean you have to.
Pick something you're excited about - whether that's a certain distance or race. Then go for it, and give it your best shot.
8. Look at your progress. Sometimes when it's hard to get out the door, it's helpful to look at how far you've already come. Look at your running log or journal. Read about the previous struggles you've had in your workouts. Look at how your times have improved. Take a look at some old race photos and remember why you run.
9. Explore the outdoors with your pet. Your dog loves you and wants to hang with you. Take him to a new trail and hike it together. It may not be running, but if you're in a rut, getting outside and spending time with your pet in nature might be just what you need. You'll have a chance to watch him explore (plus he won't bother you with conversation), and you'll have a chance to revel in the beauty of nature. Don't forget to bring water for him as well.
10. Take this time to set goals for yourself. Write them down. Figure out how you're going to reach them. When you see what you want in your life and how you plan to get there, you'll be motivated to start working toward them. This applies to running, and everything else in life.
Don't beat yourself up if you're struggling to get out the door. We've all been there. Some of us are there right now. Keep your teammates accountable - check in with each other and see how you can help each other out. Plan runs together, workout together, and just be there for each other.
We'll see you in the morning for 5x1000m repeats. We will likely have some new runners joining us as well - we can't wait!!!
#thefitclub417 #earnednotgiven #runfasttakechances
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!