I was recently asked to write an article for the Revel Race Series March newsletter. Here is the article I wrote:
If you are like me, winter seems to take a toll on my running. While I don’t just sit around eating Bon Bon’s all winter, running in cold and icy conditions or running on the “dread”mill is just something that takes a lot of motivation to do.
Now that spring is right around the corner, how do we snap out of the winter doldrums and get back to work? Here are a few ideas that have got me out the door after a break in running:
1) Prepare for your run. If you run in the morning or evening, lay your running clothes and gear for your run out the night before. Time spent looking for all your stuff when you are half awake, is not only a good way to lose motivation, but it’s time you could use to get and extra mile or two in on the road or trail. This is also a great idea the night before a race!
2) Get up and get dressed! Well this is a given (I hope). If you follow tip #1, this tip will be much easier. On those mornings (or evenings) that you just don’t want to get out of bed or are tired after a long day at work, just change into your running clothes with no expectations. I have always found that no matter how tired I felt, just getting dressed for a run was enough motivation to actually run.
3) Start slow and be easy on yourself. If you have not been running all winter, going out with guns blazing and expecting to have the fitness and speed you enjoyed in the warmer months when your training was on point, you will lose motivation. It is not realistic and it is a good way to get injured! It’s OK to start over. Go out with a plan to run one mile and see how you feel. For me, 9 times out of 10, I will warm up and do more. Just don’t do too much, too soon and with work, you will eventually get your fitness and speed back.
4) Find a running group or running buddy. The power of accountability is strong! One of the strongest motivations I have found is knowing that my group or a friend was getting up and waiting on me. Plus, running with a friend that can motivate, push, and talk to you during the run just makes the run more fun. Even if you go to the gym to run, find a couple of treadmills next to each other and no matter what your pace, you can still run together!
5) Sign up for a race! There is no greater motivation than putting a race on the calendar. Revel has four amazing races throughout the year to get excited about! The fact is, if we sign up for a race, we will be a lot more likely get out and train. Even after 119 marathons/ultras, this is still something that gets me out the door. Running a marathon or half can be daunting, but with proper training, it will hurt a lot less and be a lot of fun!
I know that if you follow these tips, it won’t take long to get your groove back and be out there killing it a races throughout the year!
Wishing you all a personal record (PR), Boston qualifier (BQ) or a fun finish! GOOD LUCK and I will see you on the course!