As the cold of Winter nears, you might find it easy to relax on your new (or maybe even well-established) running routine from more comfortable summer days. The colder temperatures and earlier sunsets make cozying up on the couch after a long day more tempting than ever.
Yet, the change in seasons doesn’t have to mean the death of your running routine. The key is in keeping yourself engaged and excited for your runs. Here are three tips for staying motivated and reinvigorating your love for running.
1) Refresh Your Playlist
Some people find running meditative, a chance to be alone with their thoughts. However, for those who don’t hold this view it can seem like the most boring activity in the world. To combat this boredom, I recommend building a playlist of upbeat songs that you are excited to listen to.
That’s only half the battle. The only thing worse than no music is music you’re sick of listening to. That’s why I always suggest keeping your playlist refreshed. An easy way to do this is to subscribe to a streaming service like Spotify, where you can constantly find new music through playlists they create based on your listening habits. An alternative option is a service like FitRadio that streams DJ-produced playlists in a variety of genres and tempos. Keep it fresh to keep it exciting.
2) Explore New Trails
Running is a phenomenal way to explore the world around you. In fact, whenever I travel to a new city or country I make an effort to run during my stay to explore the nooks and crannies I might have otherwise missed. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to explore. Simply drive to a new neighborhood on the opposite side of town, or try a new trail at the park. The new surroundings will add a sense of adventure and excitement.
3) Use Your Imagination
Using your imagination is one of the most overlooked tools for keeping yourself occupied during long runs. Experienced runner’s are known to create stories in their head. Maybe they’re running from the zombie apocalypse? Maybe they’re training for the next “Rocky” sequel? Perhaps they’re in an action movie racing to save the object of their heart’s desire? Whatever the story, get creative and immerse yourself in the adventure. You’ll probably find that, before you know it, you’re already at the finish line and feel as good as ever.
You can even use the time during your runs to focus on visualization exercises for other tasks. For example, if I have to give a presentation or seminar I will often imagine myself giving the presentation as if watching it as a movie in my head. This helps me prepare and feel less anxiety about these upcoming speaking gigs, and makes the run go by in the blink of an eye.
Running is a great way to stay in shape during the holiday months. Not only is it a phenomenal workout, but it can be done anywhere with zero equipment–perfect to fit in with your holiday travel plans. Keep your playlist refreshed, explore new areas, and put your imagination to good use to keep yourself immersed in your running adventures well into the Fall (and Winter) months.
If you find yourself committed to running during the winter, follow these tips to prepare yourself for the unique obstacles of winter running.
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