Beat the Winter Blues – Paul Addicott’s Guide to Running in the Winter

Paul Addicott runs all distances from 5k to 100k, and is a regular pacer for events such as London Marathon,  Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and more.

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Beat The Winter Blues

As the evenings get darker and the mornings are colder, it can become much harder to drag yourself outside to go for a run. This can be the same for any outside sport; you look outside at the miserable weather and it’s easy to just stay inside and miss your workout. This is normal, so how do you motivate yourself to get yourself going? Here are just a few things that may help.

Book an event

Having something to work towards will keep you motivated. Events with a plan of what you want to achieve can keep your training through the winter months, ready to hit your target. So give yourself a challenge, commit to it, and get yourself out there.

Set yourself targets

Having a goal race is a great way to get you out, but if it is too far away for some it’s not enough. This is especially true if you have set an ambitious target. Set yourself mini goals and maIMG_0597ke them achievable, look for small gains. This way you will keep going out to achieve them. A park run is a great way to measure weekly progress. Your mini goals don’t need to be time-related, it could be to achieve a set distance each week, or to run a set number of times. Whatever it is, make it personal to you, something that will keep you going but also something you know you can achieve.

Try something new

Think outside the box when you set yourself challenges. Your run doesn’t need to be the normal route around the block. Have you tried running to work? Can you race against a bus? I’ve tried and won. Try running a route that takes insights, or set landmarks. The planning is as much of the challenge, and the more time you invest in creating a challenge, the more likely you are to see you through.

Plan rewards

What keeps you going? I for one like to be rewarded. Set yourself treats, whether this is something simple like a cup of hot chocolate after a run, a takeaway at the end of a week, or putting money aside to build up to something you really want. Whatever floats your boat, make it dependant on you getting yourself out there and training. Some people will put a pound away for every mile, so imagine the rewards you can plan at the end. I’ve never done this, but I always have a huge meal after a big session.

Run with others

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to miss a long run if no one knows about it. But if you have a friend or a club waiting for you then you are less likely to disappoint. Making it social is a great motivator to you can go for a run, then a coffee and cake, now that’s worth getting out of bed for. 

Track progress

PaulIf you can see your progress this can motivate you to keep going. With gradual improvement, it often goes unnoticed. You will get faster, you will run further and you will feel better doing it. So track your progress, whether it’s on a device, or a simple diary, don’t forget where you have come from.

Get new kit

It’s cold, it’s dark, what a great opportunity to get some new kit. You want to get something warm and reflective. If you invest in your training you are more likely to go and use it.

Have fun

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? Whatever your answers, remember to enjoy yourself. You may want to lose weight, improve your speed, or hit a new distance target. If you enjoy yourself whilst you are doing it then you will keep doing it.

We complain when it’s too cold we complain when it’s too hot. We can always find an excuse not to train. If you want to be the best you can then overcome it and go and be the best you possible.

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