Monday, November 20, 2017

GUEST POST: Winter Motivation Tips by Tanya

The hubby and I decided to pack up the Adventure Mobile and head into the great outdoors for the Thanksgiving holiday (we are camping in Zion for the week), but I wanted to make sure you had something for your reading pleasure while we were gone. I lined up a pretty rad group of guest bloggers and I hope you find their posts beneficial!

First up is Tanya. She's a runner from Minnesota who knows a thing or two about cold weather running and tips on staying motivated to get in your miles during the cold months. Although winter doesn't technically begin for another month, I know temperatures are quickly dropping across the country and asked Tanya to offer some advice with you.

Let's be real, I paid my dues while living in Michigan... but now I'm a winter wuss
and enjoy watching winter from the beach in sunny San Diego 

Tips on Staying Motivated Through Winter

Ah, winter. A time for the holidays, building snowmen, and endless mugs of hot cocoa. But for runners, winter can also mean subzero temperatures, less sunlight, and a severe lack of motivation to lace up your shoes and go for a run.

As a tried and true Minnesota runner, I know all too well the effects a long, cold winter can have on training. Motivation can be nonexistent, even on those bright, sunny days where the sun glistens off the snow and everything looks truly beautiful... because once you step outside you realize your eyeballs instantly freeze over. There’s always the treadmill, teasing you with its warmth indoors, but if you’ve ever spent more than, oh, five minutes on one, as most of us have, you know we’d almost rather brave the single digit temps than spend a significant amount of time on the hamster wheel.

So, what do we do? Rather than hibernate until spring, I’ve learned over time that there are a few ways to keep myself motivated. After all, in Minnesota, if we waited for perfect weather, we’d probably only run two months out of the year!

Probably my favorite way to keep myself motivated is to simply register for a winter race. For me, I typically plan the majority of my annual races during the fall. I make it a point to put races on the calendar during the winter months. For the last 8 years, I’ve ran a race on New Year’s Day, with the temperature ranging everywhere from 10 below to a balmy 32 above. Knowing that I’ve invested money into registering for a race helps keep me accountable with my training.

Something else I try and do during the winter months is to run during the midday, if possible. Going to work when it’s still dark and getting home after the sun goes down can definitely put a damper on my running spirit. A few years ago I started running during my lunch break at work. This has helped avoid the treadmill and get in some of my weekday miles. Being a mother with a younger child at home, it can be a struggle to get in the miles at times, so putting in the effort to get in a run while I'm already away from my family helps me get it done. Temperatures are generally warmer midday and even a mile or two outside in the fresh air always seems to brighten my mood.

Lastly, another great motivator? Fellow runners! The running community is fantastic for being uber supportive, regardless of your pace, age, or how long you've been a runner. I find a good way to seek advice or renew my running passion, especially via social media, is to simply reach out to others. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who ISN’T experiencing the same things you are at that moment. Social media is also a great way to get advice on winter running necessities, like YakTraks or how many layers is truly enough. Trust me, you are certainly not alone! The amazing accomplishments of other runners always inspires me to get out and tackle whatever Mother Nature throws at us.


I hope you find some of these tips helpful! Winter doesn’t have to mean spending months bundled up at home under a warm blanket when your motivation becomes nonexistent. Remember that no matter the season, every mile counts!

Let's give Tanya a BIG THANKS for the great tips! And if you'd like to follow her (because adding great running friends to your social media feed is an awesome way to stay motivated, right?!) add her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

What is your favorite way to help you stay motivated when the weather is less than cooperative?

1 comment:

Belden Cables said...

I’m running my first half marathon tomorrow in Central Park. Thank for the post! Very motivating. Good to know I am not the only person who likes running in the winter!