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Winter Running: Part V –– Motivation

During the last several weeks, I have offered some advice on the best way to “gear up” for your winter running. To speed recap: layer your clothing; look into merino wool for warmth and wicking; dress like it is 20 degrees warmer to prevent overheating; try a trail shoe when it’s icy; and be visible (passive reflection and active lighting) because it seems to be getting dark around 3:00 PM these days (sigh).

When it starts to look like this, you need to make yourself visible.

Now that you have the gear for winter running, you may still have problems getting out the door for your run. How many times have you thought some variation of the following? It’s too early. It’s too late. It’s too dark. It’s too cold. It’s too windy. When you catch yourself thinking “it’s too winter,” you don’t need another pair of wool socks –– you need to find some motivation.

Keeping motivated during the winter can be tough, especially if you are running alone. I strongly suggest finding some running buddies. Not only do the miles go by more quickly when you are running with somebody, but also you will be more likely to get up and out on a nasty day if you have someone counting on you to show up.

I, myself, experienced this last Saturday. When I got up at 5:30, snow was falling fast and the roads and sidewalks were slick. If this had been a planned solo run, I might have crawled back into bed. However, I have a standing Saturday morning running date with the Fleet Feet Running Club. If it’s Saturday at eight, we’re running somewhere around the Capital Region. So, I got out there and enjoyed the wind and snow.


Turn this…                                             Into this… By joining a running group

If you are in need of an instant running group to meet other area runners and provide some much-needed winter motivation, try the Fleet Feet Running Club. We meet at 8:00 AM on Saturday mornings and 6:00 PM on Wednesday evening –– with a monthly pub run! –– throughout the year at various locations throughout the Capital Region and north to Saratoga. Membership costs only $10.00 and includes a Fleet Feet Racing singlet for new members. Everyone, regardless of skill level and experience, is welcome. Here’s a useful link:

Look for the Fleet Feet van!

It’s great to make friendships through a shared love of running, but it’s also fun to hang out afterwards –– especially in the winter. The more extreme the conditions, the better the story, right? Who doesn’t like to bond over a beer or regale others with “remember when we…” stories over hot cocoa as we’re basking in the afterglow of another successful running meet-up? These are the things that make the dark winter season bright –– so put on your shoes and come share some miles and a cup of kindness in the coming months.

How do you keep motivated during the winter? Please tell us all about it in the comments.

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