Seven ways to motivate yourself to run during winter

December 1, 2016
Dementia UK runners


With winter drawing in, the temperature dropping and the nights growing longer, we know it can be difficult to motivate yourself to get outside and get exercising. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned runner looking to improve, you’ll definitely notice the difference the dark and cold can have on your weekly routine. To help keep you going, the Dementia UK Fundraising Events team have put together some top tips for sticking with your training during the winter:

1. Run with a friend

Lots of people enjoy running by themselves and it’s great if you can motivate yourself to go solo! However, if you do need a bit more encouragement, think about finding yourself a running partner. You don’t necessarily have to match pace and run alongside each other but you’ll find it makes a difference just to have a plan to meet someone else for a run on a wintery afternoon!

2. Join a local running group

Running clubs aren’t just for the semi professional and super fast runners of the world! There are so many different local groups you can get involved with nowadays, from athletics clubs to Parkrun to Goodgym (combining running with good deeds) that there’s bound to be something nearby that appeals to you and many of them are free to join. Not only are you more likely to go for a run if you’re booked in to a session but you could do something great and make new friends along the way.

3. Download a fitness app

Anyone who already uses a running or fitness app will tell you how useful they can be in keeping you motivated to train. It’s helpful to be able to measure your runs in terms of distance and pace and to see how you’re progressing. Even better, if you have a social app like Strava, where you can see how your friends are doing in comparison, then you’ll find the competition is a real drive!

4. Register for races

Whether you’re training for a longer run or just getting in to running, it’s great to have a target to work towards. Signing up for a few 5k or 10k runs will mean you have no choice but to keep your fitness levels up during the colder months. Smaller races are often inexpensive to enter and you may even get a shiny medal once you’re over the finish line!

5. Make sure you’re properly kitted out

There’s nothing worse than coming back from a long run feeling cold to the core. It’s important that you feel good after your runs to keep you motivated to keep them going. Dress appropriately for the weather and think about wearing multiple, breathable layers which you can remove during the run if needed. Whilst you don’t want to end up chilly, being too warm could leave you damp from sweat, which could also increase your risk of becoming ill while outside. If the weather has been bad or you do get particularly hot, make sure you change out of your workout clothes as soon as possible after a run.

6. Alternatives to running

It’s inevitable that there will be days when the British weather means it is just too awful to go outside, but don’t let this get you down! Have some alternatives to outside running planned and engage in these activities on those rainy days. Go for a swim, join an exercise class or try some strength training to keep up your fitness levels if you can’t get out for a run.

7. Remember why you’re running

Whether you’re running to improve your fitness, lose weight or solely to raise as much money for charity as possible, keep this in mind during your training and you’re sure to go far.

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