It is the start of a new year and whether or not you subscribe to the idea of taking one day in the year as the signal to change things in your life or not, it can undoubtedly a tough time of the year to be running (or doing anything else outdoors to be honest). Certainly when there are blue skies and frosty mornings, it is a pleasure to get out for a run, but if it is a typical wintery day which is wet, cold and has about 45 minutes of sunlight squeezed in, then it can be difficult to get yourself out of the door. So here are a few of the things that I have done / will be doing to help me when the motivation is flagging:
- Read a blog: there are some great blogs out there that might help to get you out the door – try James Adams, Jay Watts or Holly Rush for example (and if you have others that you love, let me know!)
- Read a book (or magazine): I have really enjoyed some great running books recently, in particular a re-reading (for the umpteenth time) of Charlie Spedding’s book From Last to First, Wild Running by Jen and Sim Benson and I have just started Ronnie O’Sullivan’s autobiography Running. (Blatant plug, but you could also buy a copy of Like the Wind magazine…!)
- Sign up to a race and write yourself a training plan to get you through to the start line – this is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to get out in my opinion
- Sign up to Strava. There is nothing like a bit of competition and visibility to get you up and out of the door, after all you don’t want to break your streak or lose that king/queen of the mountain badge, do you?
- Find a training partner – have someone that you are responsible to. Once you have made a plan to meet someone for a run, you really should go, right?
- Download a podcast – Marathon Talk is a brilliant show hosted by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams (I was honoured to be interviewed for the show a couple of weeks ago) or if you are into the longer stuff then Talk Ultra is a brilliant show by the knowledgeable and irrepressible Ian Corless.
- Buy some new socks: I love having a new bit of kit and socks are a great way to treat your feet and give you the little ooompf that you need to get going. At the luxury end ashmei socks are amazing – they are made from merino wool with incredible attention to detail which makes them super-comfortable. And for everyday running RunBreeze are one of my favourite options.
So there you go – a few tips to help you (and me!) get out and run more or keep up the amount of running you have been doing. The rewards of being consistent are incalculable and you will very rarely, if ever, regret a run. But that afternoon on the sofa with a bar of chocolate… that you might regret!