Six Tips to Fight the Winter Blahs for Runners

Even though it’s officially spring and we have more daylight, it seems that many runners I know are fighting the winter blahs, me included. Blah. There’s finally no ice to deal with, but it’s dreary, cold, windy, muddy and just plain unmotivating out there. Saturday morning when I checked the weather I considered skipping my long run until Monday when the low temperature would be double.

A good tri friend told me to toughen up.

He had a point.

My long-run-toughen-up weather on Saturday was “feels like 23 and 18 mph wind”. During the run I thought of ways to fight the winter blahs, they are:

Toughen Up. Running and triathlon events are for fun, but not every race day is going to be sunshine and rainbows. If it’s windy on race day they aren’t going to postpone the half marathon until it’s nicer out. Get out there, train in the conditions and you will crush it on race day.

Run a favorite route. When you don’t feel like doing it, your favorite route is there for you. You know it like you know your last PR. You can zone out, crank up your tunes, and just run.

Run a challenging route. Challenge yourself to a hilly route, or on a windy day run next to the lake. By doing this you’re training the quit out of your brain and plus you get some bragging rights.

Run a new route. This puts more excitement into the run and keeps your brain engaged with staying on course. You might encounter new hills, new scenery, murals, even scents from a nearby restaurant. Have you ever run by a restaurant that smells like bacon? That’s motivation right there!

Set a goal or intention for the run. By setting a goal you’re distracting your brain from the wind and cold with something to accomplish. The goal could be negative splits, an average pace, run 5 hills, etc. Focus on the goal, not the conditions.

Be grateful. How awesome is it that you get to wake up and decide to run? You get to do that. No one is forcing you to train for your next race, you get to! Think of your closet full of every layer for every condition too. Put your gear to use, get out there, and embrace it!

All these tips have and will continue to work for me. My long run ended up going really well, even with fighting 18 mph wind. I ran a favorite, challenging loop, next to the lake with negative splits! The toughest part was getting out the door to just do it.



One comment

  1. These are great tips! I would add “bring a buddy with you!” Whether that is a friend to run with, a dog to drag you along, or a kid on a bike to cheer you on, buddies always make it better! 🙂


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