When the days start getting noticeably shorter and colder, motivation levels for running drop. It’s dark when you wake up; it’s dark when you get home from work — so how do you fit in a run? It turns out there are plenty of ways to get that run in — here are five options:
1. PLAN AHEAD
In the fall and winter, the daylight and temperature are usually perfect for a lunchtime run. In most cases, you can get in a 20–30 minute run during your lunch break — just pack your lunch to eat at your desk afterward.
2. BREAK A RUN INTO MULTIPLE RUNS
There are advantages to breaking a longer run into multiple ones — like two, 15-minute bouts — beyond getting in the miles. Breaking them into shorter segments can also help you focus on form because you will be rested each time you go out, therefore reducing injury.
Once you get out there, chances are you might even go faster or stop to rest less — and maybe you’ll pick up some extra distance.
READ MORE > WINTER MESSED WITH MY RUNS, BUT THAT’S OK
3. FIND COMPANY
Keep yourself accountable by joining a run club or finding a friend with similar winter running goals. Having someone to run with can keep you going on days when you’d rather stay in your warm bed than go outside — plus there’s safety in numbers.
Posting on social media can also be a solid motivator, keeping you accountable and getting a little support from your community. Who knows? You might be inspiring someone else to get out there, too!
4. LAYER APPROPRIATELY
Sometimes your only option is running in the dark or running when it’s cold. That’s where good gear comes in. With the appropriate layers, running in 20°F is even doable. This can vary by the individual and also depends on the temperature, but a good rule of thumb is to start with a base layer (pants and T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt) and then add another shirt or vest. You’ll also want to get a pair of gloves and a hat to cover your ears.
5. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, HEAD INDOORS
If the weather is simply too bad, or you’re really crushed for time, the treadmill is a trusty option. Download your favorite podcast or make sure your Spotify is up to date, though.
The bottom line is, you may have to put in a little more effort in the winter, but it will be worth it. With some creative planning, you’ll definitely be ready for that spring race!
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT RUN