How to Stay Motivated in Cold Weather

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How to stay motivated.

A common question by many beginner runners and athletes of other sports. How do you overcome the boredom of doing the same work day in and day out?

Winter is finally here. I don’t know about all of you, but winter here in Tennessee really doesn’t feel like winter at all.

Temperatures here the last few weeks have been hovering in the mid 30’s to upper 40s, sometimes warmer.

This is not what I am accustomed to.

I trained in Colorado Springs for the past 6 years, many times not even having room on the road to run.

I remember days where it was below 0 and many times I spent jumping from side walk to road just to find some footing.

So how do you stay motivated on cold days? I was reviewing some of the runnersworld running forums and thought this would be a good subject to post about considering so many people have enough of a hard time trying to get into the routine of getting out the door even on the best days let alone a cold day.

Why are you running?

I find this is a great tool to get the motivation you need to get out the door on a very cold day.

You have to find someway of motivating yourself because no one really cares if you go out or not. You simply can take action or not. I have found reminding myself of why I am going out in better temps to run as a great way to get around that initial dread of what the temperature is and what I am about to go do.

This is a very simple but powerful tool you can use to overcome any weather condition.

I have used this over the years, many times, to motivate myself to get out the door in the snow, rain, sleet, you name it.

These could be ‘I am strong’, ‘I am determined, ‘this is too easy’ but say and believe it with meaning.

You have to change your physiology. I usually call rain and sleet ‘liquid sunshine’. I don’t know where I heard the term but it stuck with me and I have been using it for years, sometimes jokingly. One of my heroes, Billy Mills, said something that I have never forgotten which pertains to this post.

‘The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference, between reality or imagination’.

If you remind yourself of powerful thoughts or think of running in shitty conditions as pleasure, rather than a painful experience, you are likely going to get the better result. Greg Swanson has a great blog called Warrior Mind Coach.

His subtitle says it all, ‘Personal success is not a matter of chance; its a matter of managed emotions, focused attention and deliberate action

Read uplifting books

I am a Christian and although I am as much interested in religion as I am the teachings of Christ, the Bible is the most powerful, motivating book you will ever read.

I try to read anything that is uplifting or educational and this simply tops the list.

This keeps me motivated. You have to get your hands on as much positive, uplifting, rejuvenating material you can get because running is not always easy.

What are some books that motivate you or that you want to purchase? You will have some days where you simply don’t want to go to run.

These little jewels do the trick in offsetting those lazy feelings we all get.

I certainly have used this strategy over the years.

I just recently read Gerard Hartmann new book ‘Born to Perform: How Sport Has Shaped My Life‘.

THAT is a great, motivational book.

He was a 7-time Ireland National Triathlon Champion, fell off his bike during a training ride going nearly 60 miles per hour, which ended his career.

He than took that disappointment to become the world’s most sought after Physical Therapist and now works full time at his clinic in Limereck, Ireland.

Read, it is a very easy way to keep you motivated on days where motivation can run low.

 Stay Focused

We all usually make things out to be FAR worse than they really are.

Running is beautiful in that we seem to dread getting out the door, than get out there and find ourselves singing a tune, thinking about a loved one or attacking our next big race and feeling great.

Why? Well, obviously, our body produces endorphins which give us that powerful feeling, possibly even the ‘runners high’.

Have you heard of that term before?

I wanted to place a short clip of my friend, Ryan Hall, who discusses how he stays motivated.

Watch informative videos

You can visit which also has a wide variety of videos which deal with a lot of issues revolved around motivation, taking the time to hear runners of all abilities can keep your mind at ease and you grounded on staying persistent.
Running is about remaining consistent.
You don’t necessarily have to be out there 7 days a week right out of the gate but when the weather is bad, or it is raining, remember the best runners on the planet deal with this.
You simply have to find a happy medium in your preparation.
We can’t control the weather, we can’t control temperatures but we can control how we will deal with the environment and that is crucial in being effective in accomplishing your goals.

Listen to music

I don’t know why but it seems like in the running community (at least as it pertains to elite athletes) sees wearing an iPod in training as a bad thing.
You can visit the forums if you wish (where negativity lives in regards to this subject) but there is nothing wrong with listening to music while doing a long run or on easy recovery days.
My wife, a 3.23 marathoner, wears headphones in her speed workouts.
I have done this countless times preparing for some of my races.
Folks in the running community seem to think national class to elite runners should not use them, that you are not as serious if you do.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The nations best runners do so keep that in mind.
I have found that this is one of the best ways to get you out the door when weather is not cooperating.
Music produces endorphins and take your mind off of the conditions and this can be a huge tool for you whether you’re a beginner or an elite.

Change your state

Regardless what your goal is.
You will have to get out the door, no matter what the conditions may be like.
I have trained in the worst training conditions the good Lord could throw at me (well almost everything) and still got out and ran.
I had my goal in mind and weather simply was not on my mind.
You have to get in a state of mind, change your state.
I am a HUGE fan of Tony Robbins. You want to really ‘GET’ what I am saying in this last tip, watch this video.

Closing thoughts

I hope these tips will truly make a difference and help you this year and for the years to come.

I am not going anywhere and will continue to write to help other runners. I know people out there, like my wife and brother, who seem to have endless gifts.

My gift is running. I know it and know there are MANY people out there who need tips like this.

If you have something on your heart, a question you need answered please contact me.

What are the things that have kept you from getting out the door on tough days? I’d love to hear it.

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