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Tips on how to stay motivated in winter.

The winter months can be some of the hardest to stay motivated for running. The dark nights, the horrible weather in England and the frequent social opportunities in the lead up to Christmas, are not always conducive to running.

So here are some of my top tips, (and that of the Run Mummy Run community; I decided to ask the question on their Facebook page too, and my Instagram Page)

1. As the Nike Brand Say ‘Just do it!’ 

Getting out of the house can be the hardest part, but you never regret a run once it is over. So stay motivated and just do it.

I loved a comment from Katherine Thompson on the RMR page that said, “Put your running gear on before you open the curtains. If it’s raining, it’s all to easy to stay in your PJ’s, but if you are already in your kit you might as well get out there.”

2. Wear the correct clothing

I think the most common tip as to what to wear, was layer up. Thin layers keep you warm, but you can always remove layers if you get too hot. I love the long sleeve running tops from Tribe Sport. They are lightweight, warm and long. My new base layer from Run Mummy Run is a big hit too.

Staying motivated tip about layers.

But I have to agree with Samantha Kedwards from RMR who suggested wearing a buff.

“Wear a buff around your neck. If it is extra cold, it can be pulled up over your mouth. It can also be used as a hairband/headband and hand warmers.” 

I also loved the tip from Stephanie Pharo-Hanson, who suggested

“putting the kit in the airing cupboard the night before”  Who wouldn’t want to put on warm kit in the morning?!

Rularuns running the Brighton Half

3. Be seen, be safe

As the nights are darker, it is vital to be seen. Wearing Hi-Viz clothes, even in the daytime, and reflective clothing is a must. There are some great running torches around too. I love the body torch from decathlon, and it wasn’t too expensive either.

 4. Use a treadmill

I can’t believe I am actually writing this, as only a few years ago, I would be referring to it as the ‘DREADMILL’. But two years ago, when I moved to a new location, hadn’t joined a running club, and was training for the London Marathon, the treadmill saved me! I didn’t know the area, when I did go and explore, I found that there were very limited streetlights. So I turned to the treadmill. I didn’t love it and training was hard, but I was still able to run consistently. So, if needs must, they aren’t too bad!

5. Tell people where you are going

I was so glad that I opened this question out to the running community, as I didn’t even know apps such as Glympse and Road ID existed. It’s good telling people where you are going, but what if you are tired and change the route. These apps allow people to follow you, so if you were to get in to trouble, they have more chance to find you. You can also share your location on your Garmin watch.

6. Look forward to a hot bath and a cup of tea 

This suggestion can up more than once and I love it. Thinking about a hot bath and a nice cuppa would certainly make me keep my speed up! This might not be for everyone, but have a little treat waiting for you as a reward. A few years ago, all my long runs for the marathon used to finish at the gym, where I would meet my husband and daughter for breakfast. I used to look forward to my cooked breakfast from about the half way point!

My Tea For MND

7. Be consistent

As I’ve already said above, getting out of the house can be the hardest part, but once you are out it’s fine (once it is over, it’s great!) So, have your set days to run. It doesn’t have to be far, but just get out. It is true that the more you run, the more you want to run! It will keep you motivated to want to go again.

8. Mix it up

Try something different. Can you run commute? Could you run home after the school run? Could you change your dog walk to a run? Think about how you can fit in your runs and some of these may help you run in the light too.

9. Schedule it

It’s in the diary so you have to do it! Also, when all the other plans start to be made; Christmas drinks with friends, coffee and mince pies, school plays etc they will fit around your ‘run time’ or your ‘run-time’ will fit around those plans.

Planning to make it to Parkrun is a great idea as suggested on Instagram. It’s free, it’s fun and there are always lots of people to run with.

10. The More the Merrier

This was by far the most popular tip suggested to keep yourself motivated. I have written about it before (Click here to read), but find people to run with or join a running club/group. It will make runs feel more safe, fun and you are less likely to miss them if you know that you are going to see friends.

 

 

What top tips do you use to keep yourself motivated through the winter? Post below and let us all know.

The best running decision I ever made…joining a running club.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, and now that it is beginners month with @ukrunchat, it seemed very apt to finally finish and publish it.

If you are thinking of taking up running, or you want to take your running to the next level, join a club. It seems like the scariest thing in the world; How can you join when you are not a proper runner? Will you be too slow? What if no-one speaks to you? The negative thoughts go on and on. But seriously it is the best thing that I ever did. I’m not saying joining a run club works for everyone, but finding the right running club for you will increase your enjoyment of running x 100.

Training session with TB

I had tried a running club when I lived in Surrey, and even though I enjoyed it at the time, I got injured as I was trying to keep up with a very fast paced group and had to stop going after the third week. When I had recovered I didn’t go back, I just preferred plodding on my own, at my own pace.

Now that I have joined Team Balancise, it is awesome. Definitely, the best decision I have made for my running. From day one, I have enjoyed every session. I have met a wonderful group of people and I look forward to training every week.

YMCA??? Anyone? Photo Credit @AndyBrayford

So, what are the benefits of joining a club? Here are just a few I can think of:

  1. You meet like-minded people. Runners are a special type, and at a running club, everyone is that same ‘type’ as you! There is no such thing as TMI when it comes to runners, we share all sorts of information with each other, that any Muggles (non-runners) just wouldn’t understand!
  2. You can talk about running until your heart’s content, and your club mates will join in too! They actually like your running status on social media, and are really pleased for you when your run goes well! They understand when you are excited about the PB you got, and they are often just as excited for you.
  3. Training runs are always so much more fun as you have people to run with. My training cycle for London this year was so much more enjoyable as I chatted my way around most of my long runs, and then was pushed to work harder through all of my speed sessions.
  4. My club mates are so supportive. If I ever had a wobble during the lead up to London, they always gave sensible advice and gave me the belief that I could do it. Seeing them on the sideline at London gave me a huge boost.
  5. Being part of a club also helps you to find out about local races. I know most races are advertised all over the internet, but I have found out about so many local races through my club. I would have never competed in the Peterborough Half Marathon had it not been for TB, but I loved it and will be doing it again!
  6. The coaches push you harder than you would push yourself on your own, but they also are able to adapt the session for all abilities, so you never feel out of your depth.
  7. The sessions are always varied. Running the same route, the same pace and at the same time, each week can quickly become boring. Being part of a club means you run a variety of routes, lots of different types of sessions and quite often all the sessions you try to avoid when on your own!
  8. In the correct club, your running improves. I have definitely become a better runner since joining a club. I am better at pacing, I am better at training, and I love my running SO much more.
  9. On the days you really don’t feel like running, but you have made arrangements to meet a club mate, you go and you always feel better afterwards.
  10. Clubs are full of so much experience. For most people, there will always be people faster than you, runs longer than you and vice versa. You can learn from all of them!
Team Balancise 2019

I am sure that there are many, many more reasons to join a club, so feel free to add your reasons below. If you are not part of a club, and you are thinking about it, my advice; do it! If it’s not the right club for you, find another because when you find the right club, you’ll love running just that little bit more.

In Need of a Rest

Wow, has it really been 30 days since my last post!! Sorry and hello again. I’m blaming End-Of-Termitus!

My running WAS going really well, although I started to get pain in my left knee and hip. I have now been on holiday for 8 days, and my plan was to do lots of yoga and then a few little runs. I am now on Day 8 of no running and have only completed one 10 minute yoga stretch session! Whoops!

 

This has got to be good for my legs!!

  
I am trying to convince myself that my body obviously needs a rest, but I can’t help but feel guilty and lazy! Having not run, has meant that I can now stand up straight without hip pain and walk without knee pain, so the rest has got to be good right?

  
I know the views on my run would be amazing too, but I just don’t seem to be able to get out the door! I suppose only time will tell if this rest has been a good option or not!

Do you run on holiday? Where has been the best route you’ve run?