If you live in an area that has an extreme climate, training outdoors can get tough, but some runners cannot stand running on a treadmill. How do runners have the motivation to get out the door when its dark, freezing cold, and 5:00 in the morning? The first tip is to ignore the voice in your head that begs you to stay in bed! Your mind will insist on talking you out of your run during the winter mornings. What I personally do is make sure I have a hot cup of coffee to drink before I head out. This gives me time to wake up and raise my core temperature a little before I head out the door. If it is the cold that scares you, I understand; I am someone who cannot tolerate cold. I am fortunate enough to have a treadmill in my home and on extremely cold days I will start my run with a 2 mile warm-up on the treadmill to warm up and then head outdoors for the remainder of my session. If you run in the morning as soon as you get out of bed, it will take longer to warm up and “feel good.” I know that I need about 15-20 minutes to get my core temperature high enough that I start to feel like I can run at a decent pace. When it is frigid cold out it takes the body a long time to warm up, which is why I like to start inside on a treadmill. If you do not have a treadmill, remind yourself that you will be hot in no time and that it is just the first fifteen minutes that are the hardest! A nice run in the fresh air is great for not only your body, but it has tremendous mental benefits as well.
When I first started running, I did not particularly enjoy it. While I always felt good after I ran, I did not enjoy the time I spent running. It was more of a chore to get healthy rather than something I really wanted to do, but this is not the case anymore. The more persistent you are in your training, the faster you will get, and the more mileage you will cover. Your training sessions will become more and more enjoyable. Running can take you to great places and let you see the world like never before. After a few years of training, I have grown to crave running. Trust me, this did not come without many mornings and late nights of complaining and procrastinating! But now, I wake up and cannot wait to get outside and start moving! You too will reach this point if you persist through the learning curve and push through the challenging times.
How do runners stay motivated when things get tough? One strategy is to find partners because your new running hobby can get lonely. Check out local running shops and ask employees if there are any running clubs or groups that you can join. My closest friends are runners, and I have developed strong friendships throughout my running career by logging many miles with running partners. Not only will they keep you accountable, but having partners is safer than running alone and can also be an opportunity to learn from seasoned athletes. It also helps to have an intention. Do you want to lose weight, get healthy, or maybe even complete a 5k or marathon? Remind yourself of your purpose every day. This will give you the energy you need when the going gets tough.
There are many additional running programs available online for free. You can use these as guides to start your running program or use the one I provided. No matter what you do, be sure to tailor them to your level of fitness and experience. If you have any questions about starting a running program, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org