Finding the motivation to get out of bed an hour early for your morning run gets harder as the days get colder. Fortunately, Nike Run Coach Dave Ridley says there’s still hope for maintaining your training plan, even on the coldest of days.
When the mercury drops, so too can your motivation to run. Dark and frosty mornings, bitter winds and soaking rain can freeze the best laid plans. Add in COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and a gaping hole in the running event calendar, and it’s easy to see why so many runners end up opting for a Netflix marathon instead of a jog.
Don’t despair. Losing motivation in winter is a common challenge, but Nike Run Coach Dave Ridley says there are many different ways you can maintain motivation when the temperature starts to drop.
“Training in the cold can be tough. The best way to stay driven is to incorporate a variety of runs into your training,” says Ridley. “By simply changing location, distance, terrain and pace, you really can make every run unique and interesting, which is a great way to boost motivation.”
For added motivation, Ridley says it’s always good to have a goal to shoot for. “Training for a future race or event or chasing down a new personal best can be powerful motivators. Setting a realistic goal will make the motivation to be out in the cold that little bit easier.”
Once you’ve got a goal, fire up your training with a speed run. These fast training sessions are fun, challenging and rewarding – and because you’re working a bit harder, you warm up quickly too.
If you’re used to running with mates and need a little extra encouragement, Ridley recommends jumping onto Nike’s free Nike Run Club (NRC) app.
“In these strange and stressful COVID-19 times, it’s good to remember we’re a community. While at times you may have to run alone, you don’t have to feel like you are. Through the NRC app, you can challenge yourself and listen to a Guided Run to keep you company on cold days,” explains Ridley.
Coach Ridley’s top tips for winter running
1. Wear the right kit
Being comfortable and warm makes running in the colder months more enjoyable. Wearing layers is also important – such as a long sleeve under your running vest or jacket so you take off as needed and put back on to stay warm once you’ve finished your run.
2. Warm up gently
Start gradually over the first 5-10 minutes to get your body warm before finding your pace. Warming up gives your muscles and joints a chance to loosen up while slowly raising your heart rate. This will help prevent any niggles and keeps you on the run for longer.
3. Don’t forget to hydrate
Even though it’s cold, you will still sweat and lose fluids, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink liquids before and after your run, and also during if you are able to. This will not only aid your recovery times but can also help you avoid injuries.
Body+Soul recommends: any sort of reusable bottle to save the environment as you hydrate – like this one from Flora and Fauna.
It’s also important to recover properly and build rest days into your routine. Rest days allow your body to adapt to your training load and help you to become stronger and faster over time. If you want to keep moving, I’d recommend a mobility workout or yoga session. A day of rest will leave you feeling fresh and motivated to head out on another run.
4. Share your successes
And finally, keep it social, digitally. Running is a fun, social endeavour and there is a great community of passionate and supportive people out there. By using an app such as the NRC or Strava you can share your runs with friends and family and also support other people on their running journeys. They’ll return the favour, and everyone will be better for it!
Best running shoes to keep your motivation up
If you’re still struggling for motivation, why not shout yourself a new pair of running shoes. Here are three of the best and latest runners to put the spring back in your stride:
This is a great ‘workhorse’ shoe for all runners. It’s perfect for your winter speed training as the forefoot Zoom Air bag offers amazing response while the soft, springy and durable React foam in the midsole provides additional cushioning.
This shoe is super popular among the ever-growing women’s running community. The Clifton 6 was already super popular, but the 2020 update puts premium memory foam into the ankle collar for greater comfort, and the tail acts like a pull tab.
The DNA LOFT cushioning in this shoe is luxuriously soft. If you are looking for a high-mileage neutral women’s road running shoe then this might be your perfect match. It also features an internal stretch bootie, which surrounds your foot like a big hug.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Nano, Reebok has reimagined this iconic shoe. This shoe has a soft woven textile upper with targeted areas of support and stretch. The [REE]CYCLED Nano X will help you crush your workout and feel good about helping the environment with an upper made of at least 50% recycled materials.