Well, runner’s, it’s that time of year again. Winter is upon us. The temps have dropped, the wind is blustery. We have the occasional snowfall, and it gets dark at a ridiculously early hour. Our natural instinct to put on our comfiest jammies and snuggle up inside our warm apartment is kicking into high gear (ya feel me?).
It’s that time of year when going out for a run isn’t as easy as it was in the warmer spring and summer months. Winter running takes a lot more planning. Routes need to be carefully mapped out in well lit areas; layering becomes an artful of the most essential kind - not enough layers and you struggle to even get warm, but too many layers and you build up too much body heat and your sweat doesn’t evaporate.
And, if you’ve spent the a good portion of the past 6 months or so training for a big goal race, your schedule is a little more loosey goosey with no real obligation to weekday training runs and early weekend morning long runs. Aka, you don’t really HAVE to go for that run.
Bottom line - more planning and less structure can leave you feeling a lot less motivated to lace up your sneakers and get out for a run this time of year.
I admit though that I’m one of those weirdos where this time of year is actually my favorite time of year for running. There are few things that I enjoy more than the cold, crisp winter air filling my lungs, the occasional sound of the snow crunching under my feet with each stride (but if it’s shiny, watch your hiney!), and the feeling of bad-assery I get when I am finally forced to take off my top long sleeve layer revealing a short sleeve layer because I’ve finally built up enough body heat to be hot in 30/40 degree weather.
So how do I stay motivated in the winter months, even when I don’t HAVE to be running? I use 5 essential winter running steps.