Written by Bethany Thompson, run coach at Persistent Running
Winter running can be hard for anyone. Okay, let’s face it – running doesn’t come easily for anyone and then add frigid temperatures, ice, and shorter days – it can be a recipe for training disaster. But, just because it’s winter doesn’t mean your training should stop or slow down. It IS hard to wake up early and get out the door on time, it IS hard to run in frigid temperatures, but if you want to progress as a runner and continue to improve your craft, you must stay motivated through the hard times.
Often times when I find myself lacking courage or battling discouragement or lack of motivation, it often stems from a lack of vision. Because, yes, even as a coach, there are days that I don’t want to get out of a warm bed to go run 5 miles or really would rather postpone my run until later in the evening, but if I continue to keep the vision in mind and train smart, the lack of motivation lessens and it’s a lot easier to jump out of bed right away.
Ask a runner what the secret to becoming a great runner is and you may find a variety of answers, “good running shoes,” or ‘the right training plan,’ or even ‘strength training.’ All of these answers are important to have as a runner, but of even more importance is CONSISTENCY. Consistency is the magic ingredient that every runner wants to add into their training plan and through each season. For me, winter running is the most challenging to stay consistent, but it can be done.
So, how DO YOU stay motivated and stay consistent? Good question. Here are some tangible ways that I, personally, stay motivated, even when I don’t feel like working out or going for my morning run.
- Picture your goals – goals are so important and I’m learning more and more each day about how vital it is visualize your fitness goals when you don’t feel like getting out of the comfy bed. Know your goals, your why, your purpose. Feel it.
- Get out of bed, right away. Personally, I love working out right away in the morning. On the same side of the coin, I also love sleeping. However, if I choose to sleep in and miss my early am workout, with each passing hour my motivation to workout greatly decreases. Getting it done right away is best! If it is nasty outside and really cold, I will use the treadmill! Treadmills are amazing tools runner’s can use! They aren’t the most fun, but if I find a good show, I will actually be eager to get on my treadmill!
- Think about how GOOD you will fill after you are done
- Sign up for a race! I love signing up for races because it helps me stay motivated to keep training and running, even when I don’t feel like it. I wouldn’t want to get to race day unprepared.
- Surround yourself with community. Accountability is so, so important! My husband, Landon, is super supportive of my running goals, I’m involved in some fitness/running groups and I hve my own running community that I LOVE. Surrounding yourself with people who will pour encouragement into your life is a game changer.
- Keep the vision in mind. Write your goals down daily, know where you are going, and remember that consistency is the KEY to getting you from where you are to where you want to be.
- Train SMART. If you are running all your runs at a fast pace or not taking rest days or trying to increase your mileage too quickly, you will mostly likely reach a point of burn out and serious motivation struggles (not to mention injury.) If you train smarter, not harder you will avoid burn out, and find you are much more motivated to get up and run each day!
Every season of life and weather bring specific challenges to runners. Let your excuses become your reasons. Remember, whenever you feel a sense of discouragement or lack of motivation or fear, it is a moment – a chance to show courage. Choose courage. Remain consistent and the results will come.
Bethany Thompson is the founder and run coach at Persistent Running. She passionate about inspiring other’s, helping athletes accomplish goals they never thought possible and dreaming big. Persistent Running is dedicated to helping runner’s attain their goals, through a smarter, not harder approach to training. Bethany believes that life is too short to not work to be the best you can be and at Persistent Running, our goal is just that – persistently pursuing your BEST self through one on one, athletic specific coaching.” You can find more of Bethany and Persistent Running at https://www.persistentrunning.com