Wanted: Winter Motivation

Happy Friday, runners!

Just when we thought the Polar Vortex was over, it made a U-Turn right back down through the holler. Remember that one day — maybe it was mid-last-week — when we had temperatures above 40 degrees? And then remember how Monday and Tuesday came, and we woke up to a few inches of snow and more freezing temperatures?

Go Home, Arctic.

Pretty much.

It’s a Winter Wonderland here in Louisville right now, and while I used our “snow day” on Tuesday to slog out two miles through downtown, I thought of some friends in Michigan who are stuck on treadmills this time of year.

It wasn’t much consolation while my sweat was freezing on to my face. Cold is cold, whether it’s 30 degrees or 20 degrees or 0 degrees. How do you keep up your motivation to run in the winter? We have a few tips to keep your goals and motivation alive.

1. Strategically place reminders of your goals when you know you need the motivation. I hate getting out of bed when it’s cold, so when my alarm goes off in the morning, I changed the text to say “HOW FAST DO YOU WANT TO RUN IN THE SPRING?” It shames me into waking up, and plays well into my Catholic guilt.

2. Keep a heater in your bedroom. This might just be for me, but.. if I blast the heater in the bedroom when my alarm goes off, it tricks me into thinking the rest of the room might be as cozy as my comforter cocoon. Also, it’s nice to not put on running clothes that are partially frozen.

3. Find a buddy. Even if you don’t like running with other people, get someone who is already awake in the morning — or working on their own goals later that day — to hold you accountable to your workout.

4. Run some local races. Anyone do the Frostbite 5k a few weeks ago? (Yeah, we didn’t either, but it sounded fun!) Most of the folks we talked to after the race said they used it for training for future races. Use 5k’s to get excited for spring!

5. Get new stuff. Whether or not you use shopping to motivate you, you need to have the right clothes for winter running! So if you don’t get excited over wearing four pairs of pants just to prevent frostbite, at least get excited that maybe a new pair of running tights will keep you 10x warmer.

Next week, we will gather some tips for actually running in the cold weather (with or without snow) and how to safely conquer the Polar Vortex. Until then..

Run happy (and warm)!