Eat Pray Run DC: How To Motivate Yourself To Run In Winter

Having the right gear, friends, and race plans can keep you running through the cold.

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As I sit down to write this, the snow has just stopped falling in DC’s first winter storm of the year. It’s cold and gray outside. The light, fluffy wet snow coats the ground. It is not the kind of weather that makes me want to go out and run. It’s the kind of weather that makes me want to put on wool socks, brew a cup of tea and snuggle on the couch watching Netflix (hello, Friends). But yet, I will run. I will run today, I will run in a couple days and I will run all winter long. I wasn’t always like this. I used to be an April to October runner. The other months were just too dark, too gloomy and too COLD. However, I hated having to start from scratch every spring. I decided a couple of years ago to just bite the bullet and become a year around runner.

Here are my tips on how to motivate yourself when all you want to do is crawl back in bed:

  • Have the right gear. I’m much more likely to head out on a run when I’m properly attired. For me, that means a solid base layer, layers on top of that, something over my ears, wool socks, and gloves with handwarmers inside. I am ESPECIALLY motivated when I’m wearing something cute. It helps, I swear!
  • Have the right friends. I’m really fortunate to have many run buddies who are willing to get out there when the temperatures are bad. Honestly, having friends who are just as crazy as you are is probably one of the most important things to keep your motivation high. I look forward to meeting with my run buddies, catching up on life as we run and getting through particularly cold runs TOGETHER.
  • Have the right race plans. I recently joined a local run club (more on that in a future post!). They host a bunch of cheap or free low key races. This keeps me motivated to run. This is especially important for me because I’m not training for anything right now. I’m using these club races on the weekends to keep some mileage in my legs.

Running in the wintertime can be rough, but it pays off when you’ve maintained your running fitness and are ready for spring racing.