When the cold weather hits, it's tempting to give up on running outside. But running through the cold weather can help fight winter blues, improve your energy levels, and guarantee that you'll be in better shape once the weather turns warmer. Even if you're new to running, there are ways that you can train your brain to run straight through the winter months. Try some of these ideas:
Run with a group or a buddy.
Photo by altrendo images
Find a local running group
or recruit a friend to run with you. Knowing that someone is waiting for you will help motivate you to do those chilly runs.
Get the right clothes.
Photo by Jordan Siemens
Wearing running clothes that are right for cold weather running makes a huge difference in your comfort and motivation levels. Even though winter running clothes
are not cheap, a few quality pieces are worth the investment.
Be prepared to run or work out indoors.
Sometimes it's just not safe to run outside when it's extremely cold or very icy. But if you miss a few runs because of bad weather, it's very tempting to then just give it up completely during the winter. Keep up your exercise habit by running on a treadmill or doing other indoor workouts. If you don't belong to a gym, get some exercise DVDs and exercise equipment that you can use at home.
Sign up for races.
Doing road races throughout the winter is a great way to guarantee you'll a) keep motivated to stay in shape and b) run outside, at least occasionally (for the races).
Follow a schedule.
Even if you're not training for a race, it helps to have a specific training schedule
. Post it on your refrigerator or mark it in your appointment calendar so you have constant reminders of when and how much you're supposed to run.
Warm up inside before you head out.
Often it's the thought of that first frigid 10 minutes of running that keeps us from going outside for a run. To help avoid that uncomfortable feeling for your first mile or so, try marching or slowly jogging in place for a few minutes inside before you head out. It will especially help warm up your feet
and hands, which are often the most uncomfortable body parts during the beginning of a cold run.
More: How to Make Winter Runs More Comfortable