Motivation for running in winter

Hi, people, I've been lurking for a while, but this is my first post: Ok, it's a little in advance, but I'm trying to get over my tendency to hibernate during winter. How do you go running mid-week when it's cold and pitch black?? Do you just stick to the gym or have you found the discipline to head outside? I've applied for a marathon place so figure that goal should motivate me, but any extra tips gratefully received!


  • Join a club ......... and make use of it, the company makes it so much easier! Or get a job where you either get time off during the daytime or get an hour plus for lunch (and has showers etc on site), joining a club is the easiest option though.
  • It was dark at 9pm last night here in Aberdeen and so the saying goes "the nights are fair drawing in".

    Drushka just get into the habit now and before you know it you will enjoy running in the cold and dark. One thing you may consider is joining a running group in your area that meets the same time same night every week, stick it in your diary and do it.
  • MadameOMadameO ✭✭✭
    Hi Drushka! I was a lurker too until a couple of days ago. I only started running outdoors in April so I'll be facing the same problem as you...
  • Lunchtime running works for me.
  • I love running in the winter,it's cold and great fun if there's a group of you.

    I hate the summer,it's too hot for running in so you only end up going out really early in the morning or late in the night anyway.

    Roll on the winter!
  • I've got a head torch which is surprisingly good. Also, spend lots of money on all the super thermal/wicking/long sleeved/goretex/wind proof/rainproof/winterproof clothes. Then you'll feel that you have to go out to get your money's worth.
  • m.ittenm.itten ✭✭✭
    Agree with Jack.

    Hate running in the summer. Can cope in the winter cause there's nothing better to do!!
  • Cool, thanks everyone! I have just been surfing about and think there is a club close by, so I'm definitely going to look into that. Running is going well at the moment and when it's raining I just tell myself that by going anyway I'm building mental strength for the marathon (grrrrr!) so hopefully I can get into the same mindset when it's dark. And a nice woolly hat should help too. I'm feeling ready!
  • I enjoy running in the cold too. It's just a habit you get into.

    Running at a gym is a good alternative if you're worried about being in the dark by yourself - just try to get out when you can. It's a different experience so all part of the fun.
  • Ugh. The Winter. The prospect of being back to running in the dark and cold just is not appealing. However, 5 minutes in and all is usually well. It's just the getting out of bed that's the challenge. After that momentous effort a morning run is a piece of cake!
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    I don't mind running in the cold and dark, in fact I kind of enjoy the "me against the elements" feeling knowing everyone else of sound mind is indoors curled up in the warm!

    The one piece of kit that turned my winter runs from miserable to manageable is a fleece hat. Keeps heat in and head and ears warm on even the coldest days. And gloves. If your head and hands stay warm, it makes an awful lot of difference to your comfort.
  • I don't forward to it either, pain in the bum!

    Might get some cross country shoes this year, otherwise it just ain't possible to run in snow/ ice!

    Winter is not my favourite month I have to say.
  • Once I'm out, I love running on cold, dark nights. I've found the trick is not thinking too much about it, once you get home. Leave your running gear out so you just jump into it and out the door.
  • Running in winter - (I run early morning, 5 am)- dark skies full of stars, frosty pavements sparkling, being the first footprints in thick snow, snowflakes whirling round you making you feel dizzy, the calls of owls and foxes coming near town for the warmth, Christmas lights shining, the look on the faces of early shift workers trudging through blizzards when you run past them ("Yer aff yer heid!"). I'm almost looking forward to it now!

    Oh yes, and having a spring marathon to train for.
  • Loon.Loon. ✭✭✭
    the only saving grace of my new job is the shift work, I am hoping this will make winter training easier

  • Wonderful post, iz. You a poet?
  • Gloves - definitely! And last winter I got bought a great Concurve running top - I reckon it's made out of magic material. So comfy, warm & cosy and I don't overheat after 10 minutes either!

    I love running in winter - but prefer to run with others in the dark evenings. Early mornings on your own are brilliant.
  • BR, thanks. Used to write long ago, but seldom commit poetry in cold blood these days. Just speaking from the heart.
  • Quite well put iz,

    Is there anything better than running in embracing weather when half the population are struggling to keep warm and dry - inside. Or running in the rain, past a bus stop full of people huddling under the shelter with all their brollies blown inside out by the wind.

    Great stuff

  • Where to start:

    Following your own footprints back across a snowfield.

    A hare in its winter coat

    Cat Ice by the lake edge

    Red holly berries in the woods

    Running up to the ridge and looking back to see the smoke from the chimney rising through the trees.

    A good wood fire to warm yourself by after.

  • One of the many reasons for my forum name is that I like running best when it's 'Lovely weather for Ducks!'

    I also commonly confound my Yorkshire clubmates by jumping headfirst into snowdrifts in shorts & vest, on the sort of grey sleety days which have the meanest 'ardest fell-running types amongst them swaddled in layers of jacket & trousers.

    The only weather I don't like is ice when I'm in town (too slippery - fine on grass though) & heat (yuck!)
  • Fell running- are we talking about running in the winter or in Canada?

    cross-country races provide me with the motivation + knowing that if I train right then it's possible to make gains during the winter that I can't come close to in the summer whilst many others are "hibernating"
  • FR and iz - I couldn't have said it better (or even as well!)

    Running on fresh snow is the best!
  • I also only started running in the spring so likewise, am wondering how I will cope with Winter. It's not the weather I'm worried about, it's the dark. I live in the country and run alone which has been fine during the light mornings but I think I shall be taking my huge German Shepherd with me just to make me feel safer. Although I'm not sure if he'll be up to an 8 mile run. Are there any beginner training schedules for dogs?
    Have joined a club but have yet to make the runs since children's activities take priority! Maybe a babysitter would be a good idea.
    The thought of the gym these days just fills me with horror, the boredom factor is 100%, and HOW MUCH are treadmills? I could buy a car or go on holiday for the price of these!
  • I agree it's the dark not the cold that puts me off.........I'm a townie though and the ice on the pavements is a big injury worry.

    I'd have thought it was fairly safe in the country though Nina? Or is it traffic rather than axe wealding maniacs that are the danger?

    (yes we have those round my way - some poor woman had her head chopped off last year whilst walking along the road! It was her hubby though so not a random attack I hasten to add)

    I've decided I'm joining a group - this thread albeit brief has been the deciding factor...thanx guys! See you later in the week OM!

    <makes mental note to hide axe in shed before hubby gets home>
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