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Winter running got you down?

162423105 (1)– By Sinead Mulhern

Winter weather is cruel. Snow pelts down outside and those high winds slice through the layers. With sidewalks crusted in black ice, it’s easy to doubt the grip on the soles of your winter running shoes. With being forced to hit the trainer on the bike, many triathletes aim  to get out and run instead of hitting the treadmill. But, motivation can waiver. If you’re leaning towards forgoing your daily workout, you’re not the only one. Here’s how to convince yourself not to.

1. Feel confident in your gear

When you have faith that your gear will keep you warm, brutal weather reports suddenly become much less daunting. You invested in your fleece and Goretex apparel for a reason. Now it’s time to zip up and trust. And a perk to getting a wardrobe full of snazzy running clothes: you’ll feel awesome while wearing them.

2. Set several short-term goals rather than one big end-of-winter aspiration

So you’re goal is to run a spring half marathon this year. When January sinks into a deep-freeze, that can seem so far away that passing on a day’s run seems harmless. But if you make monthly or weekly goals, you’re more likely to stay on track. Maybe that means working up to a certain mileage by the end of the week. Or maybe you want to keep a consistent habit of running longer every weekend. If you set short-term goals and regularly meet them, your motivation is less likely to decline.

3. Bribe yourself with a post-run reward

Promising yourself a post-run reward will encourage you to propel yourself into the winter conditions. Consider getting a favourite type of tea that you only allow yourself to drink after running. Or use that smoothie recipe as a recovery-only beverage. Hell, it’s winter, go grab a pint of your favourite stout on an extra difficult day.

4. Start a run journal

Seeing the pages of a running journal fill up will be physical evidence of all of your efforts. Reading it through and seeing your improved times and distances will be another form of encouragement.

5. Mark off runs on the calendar

Keep a calendar in view and mark off your run and distance every day. The gold star approach doesn’t just work on children.

6. Tell friends

Mention to your friends and family when you plan to run. When they ask you how the run went, you’ll feel even more guilty admitting that you passed it up for a session of cookie dough ice cream and Netflix. If you’re an avid social media user, add pictures from your run to get encouraging responses.