Fit Tip Thursday – How to Keep Motivated for Winter Running

When I started this blog, I had every intention of posting fitness-related things on a semi-regular basis… I’m realising after over two years of blogging, I haven’t written a single post about exercise. This will be the first in what I hope will become a series of active lifestyle posts. **Disclaimer, I am not a personal trainer and although I am a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, I do not give recommendations on the type of activity you should be doing. I am merely talking about my experiences as someone who loves physical fitness. Please be sure to talk to a medical professional before starting any type of new activity.

Ok – I know what you’re thinking. How does someone who lives in the Land of Sunshine, aka Northern California, know anything about running in cold weather. Well, I’ve only lived here for 3 winters and had a few winters of pretty darned cold running weather under my belt from back when I lived in Ontario, Canada in an area called the “Snow Belt”.

I remember when I first started running, it was actually in the spring. So by the time my first winter of running came around, I begged my husband to buy me a treadmill. We didn’t exactly have extra cash lying around for such an extravagant expense and this was before I had joined a gym. He figured my running was a fad that would fade away like my many other hobbies (scrapbooking anyone?). My stubborn self decided to run allll winter just to prove to him I could do it.  Ha! By the end of winter – I was hooked. I couldn’t stand running on treadmills (at this point I had joined a gym and had tried it). I know some of you are experiencing some exceptionally cold weather right now and can appreciate these tips.

Keep Warm

Get some warm running gear. I was lucky to have a friend offloading some old stuff as she bought some new things, so I didn’t have to shell out. It’s always good to layer as you will inevitably become warm while running. If it’s really cold where you are, I would highly recommend the following:

  • running tights
  • light thermal pants
  • light socks
  • heavy duty socks
  • sports bra
  • tank top
  • light long sleeved t-shirt
  • heavier long sleeved t-shirt
  • light or medium running jacket or a warm vest
  • light-weight running hat
  • gloves

Stay Safe

There isn’t as much daylight in the winter, so be sure you are visible to drivers and other runners by wearing reflective gear. You can buy running gear that is already reflective, or add reflective materials to your outfit. Be cautious about the weather. I ran while it snowed, but steered clear of the icy days, you don’t want to fall and be out with an injury.

Think Warm Thoughts

I know it sounds kind of silly, but it totally works! I would envision myself in a warm, sunny place. I would picture myself running on a clear road lined with palm trees and the sun bright & shining. Practice imagery if you have a hard time with this =)

Good Tunes

Run with upbeat and awesome music. Run to your favourite songs, the ones that make you want to dance. My absolute favourite “cold day” running song is Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”.

Find a Running Buddy

Grab a friend (furry or otherwise) and go out together. Keep each other motivated.

This pic was taken right after my very first organized race in 2011. It was snowing and quite chilly, but having my running buddy and mentor there helped me get through it.

Most importantly – have fun!

3 thoughts on “Fit Tip Thursday – How to Keep Motivated for Winter Running

  1. This was my first real winter running outdoors (having moved from Australia to London), but London is still pretty mild by cold weather standards. I found the right clothing made a big difference though, and especially gloves! Thanks for your tips :)

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