When winter approaches it’s time to set new goals. This also means that it is time to delve into your cupboards and dig out your hats and gloves as you look ahead and focus on running through the winter.
To help kick back the slump through the dark winter months, follow our tips to keep motivated, and stay safe and healthy along the way.
DIFFERENT ROUTE, SAME GREAT FEELING
It is important to recognize that due to the darker mornings and nights around this time of year, you may not be able to run on certain paths, trails or in parks and fields that were your daily routes during the summer months.
For this reason, you may want to think about looking at different options regarding where and when you train. Use this opportunity to refresh your running by discovering new routes around you and enjoy the change of scenery and passing new faces as you go.
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE
As the days get shorter, sometimes the only option is to run on dark nights or mornings. Why not buddy up with a friend or family member and head out for your run along well-lit streets? You can always find a café for a post-run treat and use that as motivation as you run. If you do run alone in the dark, tell someone your route and the time you estimate it will take. It’s also a good idea to run with your mobile phone if you can.
TAKE YOUR FURRY FRIEND
Bringing your dog with you on your run can provide that extra motivational boost. Their endless energy and enthusiasm to be outdoors is just what you may need to keep your spirits high on your run. It also makes the normal dog walk a lot quicker and warmer!
WEEKEND WAKE UP
For some, those Saturday and Sunday mornings without work lend themselves to making the most of daylight running. View your weekend run as a real treat, plan your route to be off-road where possible if the street and footpath routes in darkness have made you long for some green surroundings. Forest trails on cold still mornings can feel amazing and give you a real endorphin boost when you finish.
WRAP UP AND WARM UP
It’s also fair to say that the runs you found yourself feeling a little too warm on while wearing shorts and a t-shirt seem like a distant memory right now and with that in mind you’re probably digging through the wardrobe for as many long sleeve tops, tights, gloves and hats that you can lay your hands on. Have a look at ‘layering up’ with a few thinner tops rather than one thicker item.
You need to be seen. While the fashion police may have something to say about bright pink or neon yellow colour schemes, the actual police will not arrest you for doing so and what’s more, the fact you will be a lot more visible to cyclists and motorists alike as you run in darker conditions will keep everyone safer.
The best way to stay motivated is to set yourself a challenge! There are a range of Great Run virtual running challenges across a series of distances to keep you moving, push you further, and help you train for your next event. Suitable for all abilities, there is a challenge for everyone – and you can add to your medal collection! Discover your next challenge here and join the thousands of runners already taking part.
Whether you are brand new to running, took on your first Great Run event this year, or are an experienced runner, we have something for everyone. Head to our events page to set your sights on your next race.