REMEMBER YOUR GOALS
Ask yourself why you run. What are your goals? When you have clearly defined your reasons for running, make cards stating these reasons and place them by your alarm clock so when you are tempted to press the snooze button that card will be there to guilt you into action. If you are an evening runner, then place the cards where you can’t fail to see them. Put motivational lists on your fridge. Remember the positive effect your running will have on mind, body and soul. Be grateful that you are able to run and remember there are many people out there who are too old or disabled and are unable to run. Run for them and yourself. Running releases endorphins that actually gives you a feeling of happiness, embrace them and think happy positive thoughts to spur you on during your run. Another motivation for running regularly during the winter is the distant memory of warm weather and lazing on the beach. Put up a photograph of you on the beach and think of the extra pounds/kgs you will put on if you don’t run! You don’t want to have that last minute panic when the sun and warmth finally return to your neighbourhood and everyone is heading for the beach or the park. Reward your good endeavours with something a little frivolous.
LIGHT, HEAT AND SOUND
The most difficult part of staying motivated to run in winter, is getting out of bed when it is both dark and cold. Our body rhythms feel out of kilter but there are ways around this problem. Firstly, you could have your heating/heater on a timer so that your bedroom and bathroom are warm by the time you wake up, that will making getting out of bed a lot easier. Alternatively, buy a cheap fan heater which blasts out hot air and place it close to your bed so you can turn it on without getting out of bed. Put your running clothes by a heater or radiator so that they are warm when you get dressed. Invest in a bedside light which mimics natural daylight. There are alarm/lights available which gradually increase the amount of light to simulate sunrise. If you are not awake by the time it is ‘daylight’, then a normal alarm will sound and you will wake up in what is seen as natural daylight. Alarm clocks can literally ‘shock’ you awake. Waking up to a pleasant, feel good song is a much better way to start the day, so programme your phone or music devise to play something cheerful to encourage you to get out of bed.
DRESS FOR WEATHER
If you are properly dressed, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, you have no excuse to avoid the rain, wind or snow. This is a good reason to treat yourself to some new warm running clothes and perhaps a new reflective running vest or reflective belt. Do your warm up exercises in your house, before you start your run, then put on your warm clothing and reflective vest and off you go.
No one likes to let people down, so find a running buddy who is also struggling to get out of bed in the morning and run together. If you can’t find anyone, then contact your local running club and they will be able to put you in touch with like souls.
FIND SMALL RACES OR ENCOURAGE A FRIEND
If you are planning to run a marathon in the spring, then panic often sets in as you feel you won’t have enough time to train. Many areas organise small 5 km and 10 km races during the winter months for running enthusiasts. Running clubs also organise runs during the winter months to keep their runners happy and motivated. As serious training is limited during the winter, it is a good time to encourage a friend to start enjoying the benefits of regular running. Even if it is only one run a week, let your enthusiasm rub off on them and show them how to get the best out of running and the correct gear to wear, including a running reflective vest. As you aren’t training hard for that big race during the winter, you have extra time, so enjoy boot camp or try a yoga or Pilates class.
POST YOUR INTENTIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
It doesn’t matter what activity or job you pursue, knowing that you have the support of family and/or friends always makes it easier. Therefore post your intention to run regularly on social media, not only will you get support from family and friends but you won’t want to let yourself down.