Staying motivated through the winter

#Run1000Miles ambassador Lizzie Rosewell offers some advice if you’re struggling to keep going at this time of year

 Ultra-runner Lizzie Rosewell says setting a goal is important

Ultra-runner Lizzie Rosewell says setting a goal is important

At this time of year it can be difficult to stay motivated to run. The combination of dark mornings and evenings and bad weather can make it a real effort to get out of the door.

Having a goal race to train for keeps me motivated and gives me something to work towards through the winter. I am looking forward to running the Dark Peak Marathon at the beginning of December, followed by a couple of local trail marathons in January and February in preparation for the Hardmoors 55 in March and hopefully a 100 mile race in May.

The #Run1000Miles challenge is of course a great motivator as we move into the last few weeks of the year! I am currently on 1650 miles so have achieved my target of 1500 miles. It is tempting to push on to try to achieve 2000 miles, but I know that this is not realistic in the time left and with the chaos of the approach to Christmas with two young children! Instead, I am focusing on consistent mileage and plenty of hilly runs in preparation for next year’s challenges (this requires a bit of planning from East Anglia!). I recently managed a few days away in the North East, running some stunning trails along Hadrian’s Wall and on the Pennine Way - it gave me a real boost to explore a new area.

Good luck to everyone nearing the end of the #Run1000Miles challenge; whether you have achieved your mileage target or not I hope that you are approaching the end of the challenge fitter, healthier and happier than when you started. And in case your motivation is waning a little, here are some tips to help you keep on running through the winter:

  • Set a goal – enter a race or give yourself a personal challenge to work towards, such as running your longest distance or running three times a week all winter

  • Find a running buddy – run with a friend or join a running club. It’s harder to skip a run if you are meeting others and will help you feel safer if you worry about running in the dark

  • Prepare for success – avoid any excuse to skip runs; make sure your running kit is clean and laid out ready, and schedule runs in your diary to make sure you have time

  • Gear up – bad weather is far easier to deal with if you have the right kit; a decent waterproof jacket, gloves and hat will keep you warm and cosy, while a powerful headtorch makes it possible to keep running off road despite the long hours of darkness

  • Try something new – if you are losing motivation then have a go at something different such as cross country or orienteering

  • Harness your inner child – spot the signs of the changing seasons, kick up fallen leaves, splash through muddy puddles and don’t worry about getting a bit wet and dirty

    Ultra-runner Lizzie Rosewell blogs at https://lizzierunning.wordpress.com/blog/